Andrew Tonkovich was born in Lynwood, California in 1960, and
earned a BA in Comparative Literature at
Cal State Long Beach and
an MFA in Writing from
UC Irvine, in between working as a community
activist for grassroots peace and justice organizations and studying
with his mentor, the novelist Jim Krusoe at
Santa Monica College.  He
has since 1999 edited the West Coast literary journal
Santa Monica
Review and for a decade hosted the weekly book show Bibliocracy
Radio on Pacifica’s KPFK (90.7 FM), as well as served as president of
the union representing Librarians and Lecturers at UC Irvine, where he
teaches writing in the English/Composition program.  
fiction, poems, essays and reviews have appeared widely, including in
Ecotone, Faultline, Best American Nonrequired Reading, The
Rattling Wall, Juked
, the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles
Review of Books
.  He is the co-editor, with his wife Lisa Alvarez, of
Orange County:  A Literary Field Guide (Heyday), the first-ever
literary anthology of writing from and about his adopted county.  
Tonkovich lives in Modjeska Canyon with Alvarez and their son Louis
and has taught at
Santa Monica College, Irvine Valley College,
University of Redlands
, as well as at the annual summer writing
workshops of the
Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.
Civic Engagement and other stories
April 9, 2017, 7 pm @ The Federal Bar
“I don't know anyone who writes like Andrew Tonkovich, whose
ruminative convolutions circle and prod at the catchwords of our
culture. I shake my head with admiration as the sly darts of his prose
puncture so much foolishness, so many untested beliefs, and explode
on the page without aggression, without noise, but with humor and
much light."
Diane Lefer  "Andrew Tonkovich challenges us to
examine America-the-familiar—post 9/11 mega-churches, Bed Bath
and Beyond wedding registries, the development of a genius California
highway system through the center of wilderness (one its developers
claim actually creates two wildernesses, therefore doubling it). But it’s
through his deftly warped, brutally poignant, and very funny lens that
America becomes less familiar.  The banal 'stuff' of our everydays—
governing systems, relationships to neighbors, the slogans and
products and souvenirs—are transformed in the worlds he renders."
Ryan Ridge  “In these unsteady times I reach out to Andrew
stories as I would for a handrail. They manage to be
funny, cranky, smart, observant, and moral (yes moral!), all at the
same time. Most importantly, they come with a ton of compassion for
our collective failings and, while “wisdom” does not seem to be a word
that has gotten us very far these days, it’s a comfort to find it here, in
these most excellent tales.”
Jim Krusoe
* Andrew Tonkovich*
Andrew Tonkovich
* MUSICAL GUEST - The Fuzzy Crystals *
The Fuzzy Crystals are a tight-knit collective of poets, lovers,
dreamers, and visionaries. The colorful seven-piece psychedelic
ensemble is united by a common love for jangly guitars, spirited vocal
harmonies, pyramids, midnight desert parties, tambourines, beach
tripping, and cat magic.  The group recently recorded their second
full-length album
Crystal Magic with producer Gus Seyffert (Beck,
The Black Keys, James Supercave) at his studio in Historic
Filipinotown; it is slated for release in the spring of 2017. Visit their
Facebook page to link to The Fuzzy Crystals' schedule and sound.