Choice quality words since 2012.
NEW FEATURES June 2023:
THE LITERARY UNITED STATES: A MAP OF THE BEST
BOOK FOR EVERY STATE
Three short, stunning poems from Vyacheslav Konoval, a poet living in Kyiv, the capitol of Ukraine.
Nevada Nature photography by Eric Dennison.
Previously on MillValleyLit:
“Where God, Anchovies, and Flamenco Reside — Two Tales of Jerez” by Lisa Alpine.
“Alan Watts and Woodacre” — a flash memoir by Christie Nelson.
Paris Beckons. Susanna Solomon launches her delightful new short story collection.
R.I.P. David Harris, longtime Mill Valley resident. An author, former Rolling Stone Magazine and NY Times journalist, and Vietnam War C.O. activist who was incarcerated twenty months. David passed Feb 6, 2023. “Joe Hill,” we will miss you.
J.Macon King’s extensive interview with David was published in MillValleyLit’s Summer 2014 issue. David discussed the war, dope smuggling, Hunter S. Thompson, his ex-wife, “Queen of the Scene” Joan Baez, and how Bill Walsh’s 49ers saved San Francisco. Coming soon: selected revelations and humor from the David Harris interview.
Winter 2022-23 Issue #23
See Mill Valley rare snow photos here.
Excerpt from Bernard Meisler’s hilarious neo-noir satire novel, There’s Never Been a Better Time to
Buy Die. “Meisler hits Marin County’s quirky nails smack in the head with his hard-boiled real estate agent’s noir-cynicism.”—Mill Valley Literary Review.
“Mad Men Revisited.” J.Macon King’s essay explores the cast and careers of one of the best television shows ever. “Why was Jon Hamm, the nonchalantly magnetic Don Draper, never cast as James Bond? Or Cary Grant?”
Interview with Connie Strycker, archetype for Mad Men? “Oh my God, I thought, that’s my life and it’s on TV and I’m watching my life in my house in my clothes.”
“Down to Peru” prize-winning surf\travel story by Tom Fitzmorris. “On a big south swell the sets virtually never stop. Fortune goes to the prepared. Disaster hunts the others.”
“Jack Kerouac Recuerdo” essay by k.k. mills. Contemplating “…Kerouac during the pandemic and his style as both poetic and influenced by Zen, referencing The Dharma Bums and Visions of Cody.”
With Every Step I Take 2, a collection of poetry and prose by Avotcja, well-loved Bay Area Bay Area icon Poet/Playwright/Multi-Percussionist/Photographer/Teacher Avotcja. Review by Poetry Editor Jeff Kaliss.
Note: beginning in February 2023, we are retiring our long-time “issue format” and will be publishing a new story, poem or other work about every 4-8 weeks. Please bookmark us and check back regularly for more literary treasures and treats. If you like the variety we’ve brought you for 10 years, keep us going—SUBSCRIBE or DONATE NOW. And writers, Submissions are now open.
Coming Attractions—Profile of Scottish-Irish poet Cáit O’Neill McCullagh, award-winning lyrical and visionary Scottish Highlands writer.
Cover photo: Lake Tahoe, Incline Village, by Nick King.
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10th Anniversary Issue. Choice quality words since 2012.
Summer Issue #22 (2022) is jam-packed with features and writers. Who? Who? Take a peek:
Ever get the feeling you’re being watched? “Love on a Rooftop—Barn Owls in San Francisco” photo essay from Kathleen Volkmann.
“I Was a Teenage Runaway: Haight-Ashbury 1968” memoir by Carol Green.
“Spokes, Saddles and Cranks” England bicycling adventure.
“The Orange Peeler Meets Johnny Wadd” fiction by J.S. Ryan.
“Salonica” memoir by Marcel Alalof, translated from the French.
“The Pole” memoir of Reno by Kevin Lavely.
Chasing Byron excerpt from Jeb Harrison’s latest novel.
Washington Irving’s influence in SoCal essay by Gary Frueholz.
Plus MEMORY BABE: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac, by Gerald Nicosia.
Poet Bryan Franco profile by Jeff Kaliss, Poetry Editor.
Kenneth Steven poetry book, Iona, reviewed by Jeff Kaliss.
Humor? or curiosity? You be the judge…
Reflections Ten Years After
Foreword from Mill Valley Literary Review’s Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, J.Macon King
This magazine’s ten-year-journey began innocently enough, with my wife Perry, at our weekly Friday night “Martini Talk.” I had been baptized into the classic cocktail (try to visualize that) by the legendary, Bruno at his San Francisco’s “Persian Aub Zam Zam” bar, and spoiled by the best, prefer to shake my own (2nd best) at home.
Relaxing on our horsehair-stuffed corbeille (inherited from a writer), surrounded by numerous pets and appetizers, we hold our “Martini Talk.” There, we brainstorm creative (enthusiastically naïve) ideas. After forgetting to remember the big money-makers and Midas touches, Perry started taking notes, and later recording ideas. Ideas like climbing the Golden Gate Bridge, starting our own tech, marketing, and fitness businesses, figuring out a way to spend time at Skywalker Ranch, becoming leaders of our community improvement club, reviving a dormant community theatre and producing shows, publishing a novel, and hosting monthly meditation gatherings. (BTW, these all somehow happened. However, note that I am not a life coach so cannot legally prescribe martinis for brainstorms.)
That fabled night, during our second martini (where the fun begins), I conjectured, “It would be great to publish a literary review.” And Perry, always positive (to a fault?), murmured, “A lovely idea. How soon?”
Thus, within a couple of weeks, in May, 2012, the Mill Valley Literary Review was born. Our 22nd issue is now released, which makes the average 2.2 issues per annum or .00580 issues per diem.
Our literary mission:
1. Support and encourage writers. The key premise that makes MillValleyLit unique —proactively encourage writers by soliciting memoirs and stories that might otherwise not be written or printed. (Plus include the occasional photographer or artist.)
2. Interview both well-known and unsung writers, and persons of interest. Like the Mill Valley Film Festival, we have presented works from all over the world.
3. Make it colorful, quirky, fun, and different from the traditional dry, pictureless, colorless print review\journal. (Yes, because of this, we were issued a few warning tickets by the Literary Police.)
4. Keep production costs minimal while making widely accessible (hence one of the first e-zines with zero paper), with minimal advertising, by donations, voluntary subscriptions, and sponsorships. We would appreciate it if you would contribute or subscribe now.
With early support from local businesses — Famous4 fashion store (Larry the Hat), Book Passage, Mill Valley Book Depot Café (thanks, former manager Ari Maslow), Throckmorton Theatre, and Paul Liberatore’s kickoff article in the Marin Independent Journal — we became, overnight, rich and famous in the cut-throat business of literary journals. Kidding.
We interviewed creative people from best-selling writers like T.C Boyle and Catherine Coulter, to exquisite little-known Irish poets and tattooing-godfather Lyle Tuttle. (Salon list here.) We “discovered” writers such as Susanna Solomon (well-versed with the local literary circuit who led my introductions), effervescent novelist Christie Nelson, and multi-talented Jeb Harrison, who would all become frequent contributors, as they continued thriving as imaginative and prolific authors. We created some poppin’ fresh covers for our home pages.
In celebrating this 10th Anniversary Issue we continue our mission by debuting diverse tales such as: a tourist discovers his family’s shocking past in the Death in Venice-esque “Salonica.”; the “Curious Yellow” high-life of a road less traveled in “I was a Teenage Runaway”; unsettling droll events on a European bicycle trip in “Spokes, Wheels, and Cranks”; a surprisingly sentimental story about a piece of wood in “The Pole”; and a writer’s illusions in “The Orange Peeler Meets Johnny Wadd.” And our Poetry Editor extraordinaire Jeff Kaliss presents two outstanding poets and their work.
Subscribers will note some style and posting transitions in this issue. What is next for the little Lit magazine that could? The game is afoot. Thanks for your readership and please support our ongoing mission by contributing or subscribing now.