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Santa Monica Review Celebrates 35th Year

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By Lookout Staff

March 15, 2023 -- Santa Monica College's (SMC) literary journal celebrates its 35th anniversary with an eclectic issue that will be showcased at three events and a reading.

The Spring issue of Santa Monica Review -- which features many first time contributors -- includes 14 short stories and three essays, "many exploring memory, survival, and mythos," according to the journal's editor.
Santa Monica Review cover image by GronkSanta Monica Review cover image by Gronk

To celebrate the release of the biannual issue, a launch party featuring Review author readings will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, April 2, in The Edye at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street at Santa Monica College.

Tickets for the launch party cost $10 and are available at

“This issue is a singularly hybrid collection, where readers may wonder or marvel at the elegantly contrived boundaries of fiction and nonfiction," said editor Andrew Tonkovich.

"There is so much empathetic questioning and joyful demand for interrogation," Tonkovich said. "And a cover by an internationally acclaimed visual artist, too!"

The cover drawing is by East LA artist Gronk, whose works are collected in museums nationwide, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

First-time contributors -- who make up more than half of the issue -- include concert musician Judith Aller, who shares "a gorgeous dream elegy about her real-life violin teacher, Jascha Heifetz."

Gregory Tower pays comic meta-homage to writer Joy Williams, while Allan Martín Nava Sosa explores "despair and vulnerability in crisis and survival."

Other stories include a revisionist telling of Red Riding Hood by screenwriter Barrington Smith-Seetachitt, an excerpt from a coming-of-age novel about girlhood by Shelby Kinney-Lang, a satire of corporate media by Matthew Pitt and a take on Black Lives matter activism by Perry Genovesi.

Returning contributors tackle an equally eclectic mix of topics, including the dilemma of a domestic caregiver by Dylan Landis, a teacher's discovery of a remarkable student by Kareem Tayyar and a hilarious take on revenge and reconciliation by Leslie Daniels.

Jeffrey Moskowitz reads another chapter from "Waves of Grain," a Rosemead, CA-based novel-in-progress; poet and essayist Christopher Buckley "offers an unlikely take on chance," and Kristen Leigh Schwarz explores love and isolation in the Valley.

Peter LaSalle "produces a tour de force meditation on a life lived, dreamed, and inspired by a famous painting of Ophelia" and Dwight Yates "constructs a memoir essay about love, correspondence, and wordplay."

In addition to the reading, the latest issue of Santa Monica Review will be showcased at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Foundation in Venice on April 8, at 3 p.m. and at LitFest Pasadena on May 6-7.

On April 22 and 23, the Review will host Booth #72 at the USC campus during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. The booth will offer complimentary copies of the magazine to visitors.

At the April 2 reading at the The Edye refreshments will be served and abundant free parking is available on premises. Seating is on a first-arrival basis.

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