Published by the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California, this is inaugural issue of the Southern California Review (formerly the Southern California Anthology).
Unlike other journals, SCR distinguishes itself by publishing plays. It also features fiction, poetry and a long interview with the novelist and short story writer Nathan Englander, named by the New Yorker as one of the best American writers under forty. In it he explains his almost religious approach to writing:
I like ritualistic behavior, I like the continuum of how the process works. Almost like the monkish ideas where it’s not about me – you don’t want to write today, you still write, it’s not about you, it’s about your obligation to the story.
Among the fiction I particularly liked Freeman’s “Chandler Takes a Walk,” about an aging Raymond Chandler living out his years in La Jolla and meeting a friend for lunch at a bar. Michael Buckley’s “God is a Chalk Artist,” which is mostly dialogue, read like a screenplay.
Also featured is the writing program's One-Act Play Festival Winner of 2007: “Gone…” by Kristina Sisco Romero, who has probably the most interesting contributor’s line I’ve ever read in a literary journal. A daytime Emmy nominated actress for her role on the soap As the World Turns, she also appears in the Sci-Fi Channel’s Sands of Oblivion and NBC’s Passions.
In keeping with the California vibe of this journal, Christopher Buckley’s essay “Holy Days of Obligation” equates surfing to a quasi-religious experience. And rounding out the poetry are the First, Second and Third Prize Winners of the Nineteenth Annual Ann Stanford Poetry Prize: Elisabeth Murawski’s “Abu Graib Suggests,” CB Follett’s “Laying Down a Trail of Wind,” and “Leonard Kress’s “The Assassination of John Africa,” respectively.