I love this photo of quick-to-laugh novelist, teacher and booster of good writing and writers Janet Fitch (White Oleander, Paint It Black). Maybe she will flash it at me and others in the audience when she welcomes attendees to the nifty literary wingding I am putting on in a few weeks, and to which you, fellow bibsters, are cordially, as they say, invited. Fitch is one of our best So Cal book people, and for years (she says) she's been a fan and supporter of Santa Monica Review, edited by your not very humble Sunday morning blogger. Which is to say that I have the difficult and pleasurable and perhaps, for me at least, best job in the world, of reading hundreds of submissions (with help from short story writer Dawna Kemper and smart-dude Gabe Zacuto) and picking the absolute best of short and long fiction, memoir and essays and printing them twice yearly in that terrific project started by Jim Krusoe (Parsifal) of Santa Monica College about 25 years ago, a little West Coast literary magazine we like to call Santa Monica Review, its Fall 2014 issue out in a couple of weeks.
Who knows, maybe Krusoe himself, fiendishly handsome at right, will be there, too. He and Fitch and a bunch of other terrific writers have been kind enough to play along with Mr. Bib by way of reading, introducing, welcoming and other gerund forms of active verbs so very helpful to an editor in boostering a magazine issue launch party. Consider this, by the way, the Fund Drive Edition of OC Bookly as, yes, my own community arts radio station and yours, KPFK is in fund drive just now but is also an official media sponsor of the upcoming Sunday, October 19, 4-6 p.m. reading, "Santa Monica Review Presents..." at which Fitch will be smiling and I will be blushing and perhaps Krusoe will be doing whatever he is doing so attractively in this portrait.
Yes, indeed, the newest issue, Fall 2014 is out now, and soon on its way to subscribers and contributors and soon available for
sale at the Santa Monica College Bookstore and fine indy bookstores everywhere. Here's a sneak peek at contributors and cover (art by OC illustrator and comics artist Gabe Zacuto) by way of the Santa Monica Review website, and thanks in advance for buying a copy or ten, or subscribing.
I'm lucky to have an amazing venue for Westside readings, twice yearly now, courtesy of the good folks at the Santa Monica College. The small but perfect black box space, "The Edye," is exactly right for hosting four readers, with an intermission. Reading for about 100 attendees will be Gary Amdahl (Across My Big Brass Bed, The Intimidator Still Lives in Our Hearts), one of this reader's longtime favorites about whom I have written enthusiastically and gratefully for some years now, recently at the Los Angeles Review of Books and of course here at OC Bookly. Monona Wali is a longtime contributor to SMR and author, lately of a terrific novel called My Blue Skin Lover. Andrew Nicholls is a terrifyingly smart and so-funny TV comedy writer of some real renown, and a Renaissance fella who seems to be transitioning to short fiction, with all kinds of success. Finally, OC's own Victoria Patterson, the Edith Wharton of Corona del Mar, rounds out the impressive line-up, perhaps reading another killer personal essay or a new short story or maybe an excerpt from her in-progress novel about, yes, the Gregory Haidl gang rape-OC Sheriffs political corruption scandal, but with the same genuine and wise take she offered in her elegantly subversive short story collection Drift, Fashion Island novel This Vacant Paradise (ditto, subversion and elegance) and, most recently, excellent revisionist historical feminist fictional portrait of women Olympians and their heroic coach, called The Peerless Four.
Santa Monica Review is available in single issue ($7) or a year subscription ($12) from SMR, c/o Santa Monica College, 1900 Pico Blvd, SM CA 90405.
Andrew Tonkovich edits the West Coast literary journal Santa Monica Review and returns in spring 2015 to hosting the weekly books show Bibliocracy Radio on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern California.