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SMC Literary Review Chronicles "Our Broken Moment"

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By Lookout Staff

October 8, 2021 -- Santa Monica College's prestigious literary magazine is launching its fall issue this week featuring 15 original short stories that range from fictional reports to dreams.

To celebrate, “Santa Monica Review" will hold an issue launch party featuring author readings held online from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Santa Monica Review cover

Tickets ($10 donation suggested) and access to the party are available through

Published twice a year, the Review -- the only nationally distributed literary magazine published by a U.S. community college -- showcases the work of established authors and emerging writers and focuses on West Coast narratives.

The latest issue, said the Review's editor, Andrew Tonkovich, "offers realism, surrealism, humor, and experiments in language and point of view."

Left: Santa Monica Review cover (Art by Dylan Landis)

The stories "reassemble elements of our broken moment in satisfying, if often challenging art-making," Tonkovich said.

"Included are fictional reports, dreams, narratives from Southern California and beyond, with a vigorous exercise of voice representative of many cultures, traditions, and perspectives.

"Separated by the pandemic and responding to a political assault on reality, these writers answer with the creative power of diverse imaginings," Tonkovich said.

Tonkovich will serve as emcee at Sunday's celebration, which features a welcome by Quentin Ring, executive director of Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center, and readings by five recent contributors.

Diane Lefer presents "Out of Place," a "fictional profile of a disappointed psychologist addressing a crime writers’ convention," while Tom Whalen offers a "wry, funny meta-fictional short story" titled "April Fireball," event organizers said.

Mary Taugher "empathetically assembles an end-of-life journey with tenderness and gorgeous detail," and Lisa Teasley "explores the unlikely development of an awkward L.A. courtship, challenging expectations of racialized culture" in "Heat Signature."

Public radio journalist (KPCC) and poet Adolfo Guzman-Lopez completes the issue with "a cathartic coming-of-age story and revisionist history of person and place by way of National City, California."

“These stories seem to integrate both autobiography and recent history, as well as pushing back, responding to, and reconsidering," Tonkovich said.

The issue's cover art is a collage by sometime fiction contributor Dylan Landis, a novelist and short story writer.

The publication costs $7 per issue or $12 for the two issues each year.

More information is available at the Santa Monica Review website or by calling 949-235-8193.

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