The Spring 2017 edition of the Santa Monica Review is coming soon.

SMC’s national literary arts journal, published twice yearly, showcases the work of established authors alongside emerging writers, with a focus on West Coast fiction and nonfiction. Founded by novelist and SMC English instructor Jim Krusoe (Parsifal), the Review has presented readers experimental, thoughtful, and funny original writing—including essays and short stories by Southern California writers Gary Amdahl, Michelle Latiolais, Janice Shapiro, and Diane Lefer—in 25 years of publication, and is considered a leading national journal. Recent work appears in the annual Pushcart Prize, Best American Short Stories, and PEN/O. Henry anthologies.

The Spring 2017 issue, edited by Andrew Tonkovich, features 17 short and long pieces from new and frequent favorite contributors, and showcases short stories by Karl Taro Greenfeld (The Subprimes), Barry Gifford (Sailor and Lula), Vicki Forman (This Lovely Life), and veteran fiction craftsman Gary Fincke (The Killer’s Dog), along with a chapter from the latest by memoirist Leslie Brody (Red Star Sister), and a political meditation by California poet and essayist Gary Soto (You Kiss by th’ Book). Meta-hilarious work arrives from Ben Slotky (Red Hot Dogs, White Gravy), Ryan Ridge (American Homes), and LA high school teacher Mark Gozonsky.

Other notable contributors include local writers Lisa Alvarez, John Mandelberg, and first-time-in-print author Oxana Safronova. The issue also proudly includes fiction from SMC instructor Stefan Mattessich (Point Guard).

Spring 2017 cover art by Jared Millar.

Santa Monica Review is sold at the SMR website, SMC Bookstore, Beyond Baroque and 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 2017 issue:

Karl Taro Greenfeld – Guardians of the Palisades
Barry Gifford – The Colony of the Sun
Hilary Zaid – Treason’s Greetings
Ben Slotky – Twenty-Seven Cats
Mark Gozonsky – The Shatterproof Confidence of the Truly Self-Loathing
A. Joachim Glage – One, Two, Three
Oxana Safronova – Soul Kitchen (and Other Stories)
Ryan Ridge – Echoes of Echo Park
Vicki Forman – Route One from Freedom Baby
JP Vallières – Big Walmart
Stefan Mattessich – On Liberty
Gary Fincke – Gun Comfort
John Mandelberg – An Apology
Lisa Alvarez – The Frontera Grill
Colin Dodds – Onboarding in the Tower of Babel
Leslie Brody – Conversations with the Irish Smugglers
Gary Soto – Tell Me, Once Again, What Was It Like?


Lisa Alvarez’s prose and poetry have appeared most recently in Codex Journal, Faultline, Huizache, Truthdig, Zocalo Public Square, and many anthologies, including The Rattling Wall’s 2016 post-election collection, Only Light Can Do That. She is co-editor of the landmark anthology Orange County: A Literary Field Guide. She teaches at Irvine Valley College and co-directs the Writers Workshops at the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.

Leslie Brody is the author of the memoir Red Star Sister, and (with Gary Amdahl) the story collection A Motel of the Mind. Her most recent book is Irrepressible, a biography of Jessica Mitford. “Conversations with the Irish Smugglers” is an excerpt from 1976: Two Nonfiction Novellas. She lives in Redlands, California. More info at

Colin Dodds is the author of Another Broken Wizard, WINDFALL, and The Last Bad Job, which Norman Mailer touted as showing “something that very few writers have; a species of inner talent that owes very little to other people.” His writing has appeared in more than two hundred publications, and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net Anthology. Poet and songwriter David Berman (Silver Jews, Actual Air) said of Dodds’ work: “These are very good poems. For moments I could even feel the old feelings when I read them.” Colin’s book-length poem That Happy Captive was a finalist for the Trio House Press Louise Bogan Award as well as the 42 Miles Press Poetry Award in 2015. And his screenplay, Refreshment, was named a semi-finalist in the 2010 American Zoetrope Contest. Colin lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife and daughter. See more of his work at

Gary Fincke is a frequent contributor to SMR. His seventh collection, The Killer’s Dog, which won the Elixir Press Fiction Prize, was published in March. The Out-of-Sorts: New and Selected Stories, will be published by West Virginia University in November.

Vicki Forman is the author of This Lovely Life: A Memoir of Premature Motherhood (Houghton Mifflin/Mariner Books), winner of the PEN Center Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Prize. Her work has appeared in the Seneca Review and SMR as well as the anthologies Love You to Pieces: Creative Writers on Raising a Child With Special Needs, and Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined. “Route One” is an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, Freedom Baby.

Barry Gifford is a much-published novelist, short story writer, essayist and screenwriter. He is the author of, among other books, Sailor and Lula: The Complete Novels and The Roy Stories. “The Colony of the Sun” is excerpted from The Cuban Club, to be published in August 2017 by Seven Stories Press/Random House in New York.

A. Joachim Glage lives and writes in Los Angeles, where he is also sometimes an attorney. “One, Two, Three” is the seventh installment in a series of fictions Glage is writing on the topic of human happiness (and its unsuspected evils). Previous works from this series have recently appeared or are forthcoming in issues of The Indianola Review, Philosophy and Literature, The Kentucky Review, F(r)iction, The Pennsylvania Literary Journal, and Driftwood Press.

Mark Gozonsky lives with his wife in Los Angeles. They have twin daughters, recent college graduates who are making their way. He has written for Sports Illustrated and published in Enthropy, The Literary Review, Identity Theory, and more.

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the author of nine books. His next novel, True, is coming from Little A next year. Currently a staff writer for the television show Ray Donovan, his stories have appeared in SMR, Harper’s, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Best American Short Stories, and O. Henry Prize Stories.

JOHN MANDELBERG’s story “May One” was included in SMR’s anthology Absolute Disaster: Fiction from Los Angeles. Since then, his stories have appeared in Fiction, Northwest Review, Southwest Review, and Beloit Fiction Journal. He lives in Los Angeles and works in retail. His novel, Novel-Lady’s Boyfriend, is about to be released by a major publishing house — at least that’s what a fortune cookie said in 2013, but maybe it was wrong?

Stefan Mattessich teaches English at Santa Monica College and lives in Venice, California. His first novel, Point Guard, was published by TouchPoint Press in early 2017. He’s at work on another one, from which “On Liberty” is taken.

Jared Millar (cover artist) is a graphic designer and artist in Southern California whose work can be seen at He has been art director of many issues of the Orange Coast Review since 2005.

Ryan Ridge is the author of four books, including American Homes (University of Michigan Press, 2014), which was The Michigan Library Publishing Club’s inaugural book club pick. His fiction and essays have appeared in SMR, Faultline, Mississippi Review, Potomac Review, Los Angeles Review, NERVE, DIAGRAM, Passages North, Salt Hill, and elsewhere. An assistant professor at Weber State, he lives in Salt Lake City and edits the literary magazine Juked.

Oxana Safronova was born and raised in Russia and now lives in Los Angeles. She is a street photographer and collagist who studied literature and foreign languages at Rostov Pedagogical University. She writes both poetry and short stories. This is her first work published in English.

Ben Slotky’s first novel, Red Hot Dogs, White Gravy, was published by Chiasmus in 2010 and was re-released by Widow & Orphan. He is a frequent contributor to SMR, with work in Hobart, Golden Handcuffs Review, McSweeney’s, Largehearted Boy, Clackamas Literary Review, Requited, Juked, and other publications. “Twenty-Seven Cats” is from his recently completed novel, An Evening of Romantic Lovemaking. He lives in Bloomington, Illinois, with his wife and six sons.

Gary Soto’s most recent poetry collection is You Kiss by th’ Book (Chronicle Books, 2016). Red Hen Press brings out his book of aphorisms, Meatballs for the People: Aphorisms to Chew On, in fall 2017. The Gary Soto Literary Museum is located at Fresno City College. He lives in Berkeley, California.

Andrew Tonkovich edits SMR and hosts Bibliocracy Radio, a weekly literary arts program on the Pacifica Radio Network station in Southern California, KPFK (90.7 FM).

JP Vallières is from the Village of Adams. His work has appeared in Grey Magazine, Whitefish Review, and North American Review. He lives with Kimmy and their four sons in northern Idaho.

Hilary Zaid is an alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and the Tin House Writers’ Workshop. Her work has appeared in CALYX, The Utne Reader, The Southwest Review, the Tahoma Literary Review, and Day One. Her first novel, Paper Is White, will be published in March 2018. For more, visit


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