TCR Talks with Jim Ruland

by Jenny Hayes In Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise & Fall of SST Records, Jim Ruland chronicles the history of legendary independent punk/alternative rock label SST—an epic tale filled with rock-and-roll thrills, chaos, bad behavior, good times, shady financial maneuvers, lawsuits, cross-country tours, and many other twists and turns with an eclectic cast of misfits. Started in 1979 by Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn, SST has churned out nearly four hundred releases, including influential records from now-well-known bands like Minutemen, Hüsker Dü, Bad Brains, and Sonic Youth. The label and its owner are known for eclectic taste and a nonconformist,…

A New Story: Capturing the World Through Photography

  by Fabrice B. Poussin The Coachella Review: Where were these photographs taken? Fabrice Poussin: All these were taken at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.     TCR: How did you become interested in photography? FP: My sister, who is five years older than me, was first to get a camera and to experiment with it. I was nine then and was intrigued. As we grew older, she began buying more and more sophisticated equipment and processing her own work. I also learned to do this. She still travels the world, and so do I.     TCR: What do you like most…

TCR Talks with Maryann Aita

By Emily Schleiger The Coachella Review had the pleasure of reprinting Maryann Aita’s essay “The Geography of Flight” in our Winter 2021 issue. The essay also appears in Aita’s debut memoir Little Astronaut (ELJ Editions). Aita’s collection of essays deals with her childhood experience in the shadows of family members’ illnesses (anorexia, cancer, alcoholism), the ways in which she coped, and the effects on intimacy and feelings of loneliness in adulthood. The book wrestles with heavy topics while experimenting with different forms, like screenwriting, journalism, math problems, and sketches. I recently had the joy of chatting with Maryann about her…

TCR Talks with Twice Nominated Author of The Perishing, Natashia Deón

By Sara Grimes   In Natashia Deón’s second book, The Perishing, Lou, a Black youth with no memory of her past, wakes up fighting for her life in an alley in 1930’s Los Angeles.  She gets taken under the wing of a police officer  who helps her as she adjusts to life in a foster home. But, as Lou transitions into adulthood, she starts to unpack the nuances of her school, foster life, and relationship with the tokenizing police force for racism, both ordinary and violent.  As Lou forms subversive romantic relationships and takes on a role as a journalist at…

TCR Talks: Michelle Ross Motives for Shapeshifting

by Lisa Loop A poet once said, “War is man’s tragedy. Woman’s is motherhood.” Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I think she was getting at something. The role of warrior has been mythologized, plumbed, and dissected throughout the ages. Motherhood? Not so much. I wish it had. Nothing I read prepared me for the loss of self that came with motherhood. Bringing my first baby home from the hospital was a swim through auditory hallucinations, a fugue state both painful and radicalizing. I found out later that my temporary insanity is common. One in eight new mothers suffers…

TCR Talks: Pam Munter & The Ghosts of Hollywood Past

By Rachel Spalding   Writer and 2017 UCR Palm Desert MFA alum Pam Munter has, not completely joking, one subject that interests her—and she comes by it honestly. Born in Los Angeles and raised in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood, Munter grew up in a palm-treed paradise that included both the craftspeople who toiled behind the scenes of the moviemaking capital and the screen stars themselves. Even at school, the students in her classes included the children of celebrities. Munter ingested the lore and legends associated with the studios that ran the town, and all things Hollywood became her primary, and…

Interview: Andee Reilly, Author of A Christmas Love Song

by Kristi Daune-Edwards Rabe Each December, the world slowly turns to sparkles and hope as well as stress and the special holiday anxiety that requires strong eggnog. Holiday romances become havens of joy and wonder that we revisit like old friends each year. Beyond classic films and made-for-TV movies we binge watch while wrapping gifts and making cookies, holiday romance novels offer a quiet retreat during the busy buzz of the season. This year, Andee Reilly’s new novel, A Christmas Love Song, plays with all the traditional romance we see and spins it with a bit of Christmas spirit. With…

Interview: Dan Hallagan on Game Design and Writing

by Boaz Dror During our recent global pandemic, with so much indoor quarantining with family, I inadvertently developed an addiction to boardgames. I blame this on my screenwriter’s love for format constraints and creative limitations. After all, there is no better representation of a tight cognitive frame than a literal rectangular piece of cardboard into which story must fit. My newfound enjoyment soon sent me down a wormhole that gobbled up shelf-space and time. Fortunately, this tabletop tailspin led to Obsession, a boardgame in which players take on the roles of Victorian-era families vying for reputation and prestige. The game’s…

Interview: TCR Talks with Liska Jacobs

by Leanne Phillips Early 2020 found author Liska Jacobs in Pasadena, California, hard at work on her third novel, a story about a group of people confined to the Beverly Hills Hotel amid unprecedented wildfires and social unrest. She’s been called a method writer—Jacobs normally travels to the locations where her books take place to soak in the settings and immerse herself in her characters’ lives. But for this book, she thought she’d be able to stay home. “It’s a Los Angeles story that takes place at a hotel, and I’ve lived here all my life, so it was pretty…

Interview: The Heart of Lisbeth Coiman

by Alissa Bird For Lisbeth Coiman, poetry and literature are a lens through which we can better understand one another. Her distinct voice is the product of a life lived across three countries as a poet, educator, and cultural worker. In her latest poetry collection, Uprising/Alzamiento (Finishing Line Press, 2021), Coiman demands that we confront the humanitarian crisis facing her home country of Venezuela, a crisis born out of political and economic turmoil that has left the Venezuelan people without proper access to food, water, and medicine. This collection, written in both English and Spanish, bears witness to this devastating…