Santa Monica Review

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Santa Monica Review
is distributed locally by Armadillo.

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Beyond Baroque in Venice and
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The Spring 2014 issue of Santa Monica Review is available now.

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SMC’s national literary arts journal, published twice yearly, showcases the works of established authors alongside emerging writers. Founded by novelist and SMC English instructor Jim Krusoe (Blood Lake, Toward You), the Review has presented readers experimental, thoughtful, and funny works of fiction and nonfiction—including essays and short stories by Gary Amdahl (Across My Big Brass Bed), Michelle Latiolais (Widow), and Diane Lefer (California Transit)—during 25 years of publication, and is considered a leading West Coast journal. Recent work has been selected for the Best American Short Stories and PEN/O. Henry anthologies.

The spring 2014 issue, edited by Andrew Tonkovich, features new work, short and long, from new and frequent favorite contributors, marking the appearances again of Michael Cadnum (Can’t Catch Me), Karl Taro Greenfeld (Triburbia), Trinie Dalton (Wide Eyed), screenwriter Steve De Jarnatt and journalist Michelle Chihara.

California poet, novelist and YA legend Gary Soto (What Poets are Like) offers a trio of reliably whimsical yet urgent personal essays, and artist, critic and fabulist-realist Roberto Ontiveros of New Braunfels, Texas messes with time and desire.

First-time SMR contributors include J. M. Hollwig and Dylan J. Lambert. The reliably smart and wicked-funny team of Ryan Ridge and Mel Bosworth offer six short pieces of giddy language-driven social satire, and longtime friend of the magazine Monona Wali delivers a realistic story of family crisis, regret, cultural and emotional insight.

Christian Kiefer (The Infinite Tides) romps through an imagined memory lane with an irreverent Reagan story, and novelist and short story writer Mark Maxwell (NixonCarver) plays gorgeously fast, loose and movingly with a fictionalized life of the late David Foster Wallace. Orange County writer Lorene Delany-Ullman recalls life as the wife of a minor league baseball player, and SMC creative writing workshop student Kathleen MacKay offers a dreamily provocative short story right out of the fabulist fiction-machine that is Jim Krusoe’s playground. Erik Rangno conspires with language, once again, in a short-short about the creation of perceptions, and Texas writer Roberto Ontiveros provokes with a story about storytelling. Much-published short story writer, poet and reviewer Lisa Locascio makes her SMR debut.

Editor Tonkovich invites readers to explore further the work of contributors to this big issue --- two dozen pieces by seventeen contributors --- many with impressive publication credits and significant careers: “Their appearances in our magazine affirm their generosity and also the important place of literary magazines,” says Tonkovich. “I’m hopeful that reading this issue might start readers on a trip to the bookstore to locate other fiction and nonfiction by many of these amazing authors.”

Spring 2014 cover art: Deborah Davidson

The fall issue appears in October.

Santa Monica Review is sold at the SMR website, SMC Bookstore, Beyond Baroque, Small World Books in Venice, and other local booksellers. Copies may also be ordered by mail and subscription. For more information, visit our website ( and “Like” us on Facebook.

Complete contents of the Spring 2014 issue:

Michelle Chihara – The Bride Laid Bare By Her Bachelors Even
Gary Soto – A River Runs Through It, Bad Start, The Family Fortune
Christian Kiefer – Hollywood And Toadvine
Michael Cadnum – Hangtown Blues
Trinie Dalton – Olivaer Platz, Travel Agent
D. J. Lambert – Foreigners
Erik Rangno – Reunion
Monona Wali – Ram Ram
J. M. Hollwig – The Callaghan Chronicle
Ryan Ridge & Mel Bosworth – A Slick Six From Camouflage Country
Karl Taro Greenfeld – Tokio-2.Doc
Steve De Jarnatt – Monkey Wrench
Roberto Ontiveros 120 – The Offices Of Fang And Claw
Lorene Delany-Ullman – An Excerpt From Sweet Spot: My Life As The Wife Of A Minor League Baseball Player
Lisa Locascio – Port Angeles
Kathleen Mackay – Phosphorescence
Mark Maxwell – The Sweetwater Stranger


Mel Bosworth is the author of the fiction chapbook When the Cats Razzed the Chickens, the novella Grease Stains, Kismet, and Maternal Wisdom, the novel Freight, and the poetry chapbook Every Laundromat in the World. His work has appeared in Monkeybicycle, Per Contra, New World Writing, and Melville House, among others. He is also an associate series editor for the Wigleaf Top 50 and the curator of The Small Press Book Review.

Michael Cadnum is a frequent contributor to SMR. His most recent novel is Seize the Storm, from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He hosts an active Twitter account @MichaelCadnum, where he brings out, among other things, extreme ultra-flash fiction and lean poetry.

Michelle Chihara is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing and the PhD program in English at the University of California, Irvine. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Green Mountains Review, Trop.mag, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Mother Jones, and n+1, among other journals. She is currently the Mellon Fellow in English at Whittier College. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughters, where she often thinks about real estate, financial crises, and the Arctic. You can find her online at

Trinie Dalton’s books include Wide Eyed (Akashic), Dear New Girl or Whatever Your Name Is (McSweeney’s, co-edited with Eli Horowitz and Lisa Wagner), Mythtym (Picturebox), A Unicorn is Born (Abrams), Sweet Tomb (Madras Press) and most recently, Baby Geisha (Two Dollar Radio). Dalton’s books alternate between art projects and fiction, and sometimes combine the two. She teaches fiction and critical writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, USC, SVA, and Art Center. Visit her at

Deborah Davidson’s work has been featured on many SMR covers, and included in American Art Collector Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Artweek and numerous catalogs. Her work has been shown widely, in solo and group exhibits, and included in collections of Santa Barbara City College, Christopher Keyes, Betty Turnbull, Josine Ianco-Starrels and Mike McGee. She teaches at Fullerton College and is represented by Sue Greenwood Gallery. To see images of her work online:

Lorene Delany-Ullman’s book of prose poems, Camouflage for the Neighborhood, was the winner of the 2011 Sentence Award, and published by Firewheel Editions. She has recently published her poetry and creative nonfiction in Stymie, Lunch Ticket, AGNI 74, Cimarron Review and Zócalo Public Square. Her poems have been included in anthologies such as Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease and Alternatives to Surrender. She works in collaboration with artist Jody Servon on Saved, an ongoing photographic and poetic exploration of the human experience of life, death, and memory. Delany-Ullman teaches composition at the University of California, Irvine.

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of seven books, including the novel Triburbia and the memoir Boy Alone, a Washington Post Best Book of 2009. His next novel, SubPrime, will be published in 2015 by Harper. His writing appears in The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Paris Review, PEN/O Henry Prize Stories and numerous Best American anthologies.

Steve De Jarnatt grew up in Longview, Washington and lived on York Boulevard in Highland Park decades before it was any sort of hip. Besides a few film and television credits, he can claim that he once performed on stage with Twyla Tharp and the Joffrey Ballet and also passed a relay baton to 400 meters world record holder, Lee Evans. His fiction has appeared previously in SMR, as well as Meridian, New England Review, Cincinnati Review, New Stories from the Midwest (forthcoming); and The Best American Short Stories 2009 (also the 100 Distinguished Stories list for BASS 2013).

J. M. Hollwig received a BA in history from UC Riverside. He has also studied creative writing at UCLA Extension and at The Iowa Summer Writing Festival. He is now working on a short story collection.

Christian Kiefer is the author of the novel The Infinite Tides (Bloomsbury) and a new novel, The Animals, which will appear next year from Liveright. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis and serves on the faculty of the American River College in Sacramento, where he runs Ad Lumen Press. His poetry as appeared, most recently, in ZYZZYVA and he is an accomplished songwriter, musician and recording artist. He lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada with his wife and six sons.

D. J. Lambert received his MFA from Boise State University. His work has appeared most recently in the Madison Review and the Tusculum Review. He grew up in Salt Lake City and now lives in Boise, Idaho, with his wife Miranda. They are expecting their firstborn in early March.

Lisa Locascio’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Salon, Sou’wester, American Short Fiction, Wigleaf, The Los Angeles Review of Books, the Scottish journal Product, and the anthology California Prose Directory, among others. Her research on the life of Roberto Bolaño has received mention in The New Yorker, Bookforum, Arts and Letters Daily, and The Los Angeles Times. She lives in Los Angeles, where she is at work on a novel, Jutland Gothic; two short story collections, and a monograph about affect and aesthetics in contemporary American fiction by women.

Kathleen MacKay is a writer living in Los Angeles originally from the Vallejo, California.

Mark Maxwell is the author of the novel nixoncarver. His recent stories and essays have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Gargoyle, numero cinq, The English Journal, and The English Bulletin. For the past two years Maxwell was a finalist in the Norman Mailer Fiction Contest, hosted by the National Council of Teachers of English. Maxwell earned his MFA in Fiction from Vermont College.

Roberto Ontiveros is a frequent contributor to SMR, and has been published in Threepenny Review and the anthology Hecho en Tejas. A contributing writer to Latino Magazine, his essays and reviews appear widely.

Erik Rangno teaches in the English department at Orange Coast College. He’s working on a novel about the imaginative spaces opened up to children in times of war and a short story collection about islands and coastal villages. A previous story appeared in SMR.

Ryan Ridge is the author of the story collection Hunters & Gamblers, the poetry collection Ox, as well as the chapbooks Hey, It’s America and 22nd Century Man. His novel American Homes is forthcoming from the University of Michigan Press. Managing Editor at Juked, he lives in Long Beach, California, with his wife, Ashley Farmer.

Gary Soto is the author of forty-plus books for young people and adults. His most recent book is What Poets Are Like. The Gary Soto Literary Museum is housed at Fresno City College, where he got his start as a poet in spring 1972.

Andrew Tonkovich has edited SMR since 1999. Recent short stories have appeared in Ecotone, Astoria to Zion, and Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013. He hosts the weekly literary arts program Bibliocracy Radio on Pacifica’s KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern California and writes about books online at “OC Bookly” for the Orange County Weekly.

Monona Wali is a published short story writer and novelist. Her novel My Blue Skin Lover (Blue Jay Ink, 2014) is forthcoming this spring. “Ram, Ram” is part of The Greenest Country, a collection of linked stories, several of which have been published in SMR. A recent article, “The Pleasures and Perils of Reading Jim Krusoe,” appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books. She teaches creative writing at Santa Monica College and volunteers with InsideOut Writers, an organization which offers writing classes for incarcerated youth.

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