The Spring 2020 edition of the Santa Monica Review.

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Complete contents of the Spring 2020 issue

Jacqueline Keren – Red Ribbons
Lara Markstein – The Best-Ever Doom Metal Band
JP Vallières – War Child
Brynn Saito – Letter to My Father After Visiting Gila River’s Japanese American Concentration Camp
Rita Chang-Eppig – This Infernal Machine
Kenneth Calhoun – At War with the Sellouts
Tupelo Hassman – Straightening the Hill
Luke Muyskens – A Building Song
Marcus Spiegel – A Tale of Two Trolls
Max Byrd – Arizona
David Preizler – Coyote Tactics
Diane Lefer – The Toxic Trio


Max Byrd’s two most recent novels are The Sixth Conspirator (Permuted Press/Simon & Schuster) and Pont Neuf (Amazon Audible).

Kenneth Calhoun has published short fiction in The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Tin House, and The O. Henry Prize, and New Stories of the South anthologies, among other publications. Two of his stories have previously appeared in Santa Monica Review. His novel, Black Moon, was published by Hogarth in 2014. A native of the Los Angeles suburbs, he now lives in South Boston.

Rita Chang-Eppig received her MFA from New York University. Her stories have appeared in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Kenyon Review Online, and Conjunctions. She was recently a VSC/Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the Vermont Studio Center.

Deborah Davidson is a painter and teacher. Her works are allegorical. She received an MFA from California State University, Long Beach. Her work has been shown in solo and group exhibits both nationally and internationally. Publications include: American Art Collector Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Artweek, Laphan’s Quarterly and numerous art catalogues. Awards and Grants include, The California Art Council, and Change Inc. Robert Rauschenberg Foundation. She has taught at Fullerton College since 1996.

Tupelo Hassman’s debut novel, girlchild (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), is the recipient of the American Library Association’s ALEX Award. Her short fiction, Breast Milk, won Quiet Lightning’s inaugural chapbook competition. She is the recipient of the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame Silver Pen Award and the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Award, and is the first American to win London’s Literary Death Match. Her second novel, gods with a little g, was released in 2019, also from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her work has been anthologized in 100WordStory’s Nothing Short of 100 (Outpost19) and in Drivel: Deliciously Bad Writing by Your Favorite Authors (TarcherPerigree) and also appeared in The Boston Globe, Harper’s Bazaar, The Independent, The Portland Review, Imaginary Oklahoma, and ZYZZYVA, among others.

Jacqueline Keren’s stories have appeared in the Alaska Quarterly Review, Calyx Journal, Confrontation, and other journals. She teaches writing at a federal prison in upstate New York.

Diane Lefer is grateful to Azra Isakovic for the wild introduction to VR, and to M.J. Hardman-de-Bautista for her inspiring work on linguistic postulates and the Jaqi language. Lefer works with survivors of torture and persecution from around the world as they seek asylum and begin to heal and rebuild their lives (in spite of whatever obstacles the current administration throws in their way). Her novels include Confessions of a Carnivore, published by Fomite Press, and Out of Place, which Fomite will bring out next year. She is a frequent contributor to Santa Monica Review.

Lara Markstein is a South African-born New Zealander, currently living in the United States. Her work has appeared in Glimmer Train, Agni Online, The Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Chicago Quarterly Review, among others. She received her MFA from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Luke Muyskens lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. His fiction has appeared in SAND Berlin, Arts & Letters, and The Hopkins Review. His poetry has appeared in CutBank, New American Writing, and a Pact Press anthology on the opioid epidemic. He has earned an MFA in fiction from Queen’s University of Charlotte and scholarships from the Tin House Summer Workshop and the New Orleans Writer’s Residency.

David Preizler, originally from Wisconsin, now lives in Santa Monica. His writing has been a semi-finalist in the American Short Fiction contest judged by Lauren Groff, deemed a “notable entry” for the 2019 Disquiet International Literary Prize, and was a finalist in the 2020 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards competition. His short story “Walking the Diamond” appeared in the spring 2018 Santa Monica Review. He is currently at work on a short story collection.

Brynn Saito is the author of two books of poetry from Red Hen Press, Power Made Us Swoon (2016) and The Palace of Contemplating Departure (2013), winner of the Benjamin Saltman Award and a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. She co-directs Yonsei Memory Project (YMP) with Fresno artist and farmer Nikiko Masumoto. YMP utilizes arts-based inquiry to generate dialogue connecting the WWII incarceration of the Japanese American community with current struggles for justice. Saito is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing in the English Department at Fresno State.

Marcus Spiegel is a writer, mall cop, street mime, and amateur barber. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Southwest Review, The Summerset Review, and Clarion at Boston University. He is seeking a publisher for his debut novel, Understudy to a Villain.

Andrew Tonkovich has edited Santa Monica Review since 1998. He is author of a novella collection, The Dairy of Anne Frank and More Wish Fulfillment in the Noughties, and a forthcoming short story collection, Keeping Tahoe Blue, from What Books Press.

JP Vallières is from the Village of Adams. Some of his work can be found at Tin House, Winter Tangerine, and Passages North as well as Santa Monica Review. He lives with Kimmy and their four sons in northern Idaho.

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