Citric Acid: An Online Orange County Literary Arts Quarterly of Imagination and Reimagination is a quarterly journal based in Orange County, California. The editors of the journal, Andrew Tonkovich and Jaime Campbell, as well as the advisory board and friends, strive to provide a thoughtfully curated collection of work featuring the best artistic expressions in writing and art from and about the area. Citric Acid embraces a commitment to advancing the works of both established and emerging regional talent, including that of historically underrepresented writers and artists.
The summer issue of Citric Acid, which was released this month, features a composition of original poetry, prose, historical accounts, short stories, and art on the realistic and fantastical parts of living in the County.
Award-winning poet Lorene Delany-Ullman (“The Grief Contest” and “Camouflage from the Neighborhood”) ties the notions of sorrow and memory in a scattering of objects with an immersive poem about climate change. Other contributors include published writer Jax NTP (“Mouth Partially Open,” “Awaiting,” and “unctuousness until”), with poetry that proposes late-night questions about youth and the creative process. Eric Rangno, previously published in The Atlantic and the Santa Monica Review, depicts the thoughts of a couple spending the night in a motel near an In N’ Out parking lot in a prose poem. Veteran Orange County poet Linda Thomas (“Sagebrush” and “Sparrow in the Willow”), writes two poems spotlighting the individuality of plants and animals found in Southern California.
Award winning fiction author Jaime Campbell (“Floating”) illustrates the responsibilities of fertility and womanhood in a short story about family bonds and racial identity. Award winning LA Times columnist, guest and host from the KCRW podcast “Left, Right & Center,” and author of the OC Weekly column, “¡Ask a Mexican!” Gustavo Arellano (“Change is Your Vocation”) shares his commencement address to the UC Irvine School of Social Ecology. TimesOC staff writer and established author Gabriel San Román presents an historical meditation on the political role of slain Palestinian activist Alex Odey in his essay, “Alex Odeh, the Palestinian Question, and an Unsolved Terror Bombing in Santa Ana.”
Celebrated photo-based artist William Camargo (“Origins and Displacements, Making Sense of Place Histories and Possibilities”) shares from his portfolio a collection of photographs documenting underrepresented communities as a method of confronting issues such as structural racism. Nathan Cayanan, a writer and illustrator under the DC Comics Milestone Initiative Program, (“illus”) responds to Asian American hate and the expectations of normalcy throughout everyday violence. Self-taught OC artist Grant Hoskins (So We’re Putting Up Barricades…), highlights the ironies and deprivation of women’s bodily autonomy in comic form. His work is also featured in Issues #1 and #2 of Citric Acid.
The quarterly was founded by editor, author, and former UCI lecturer Andrew Tonkovich to promote the works of both established writers and emerging artists of the Orange County area. Tonkovich’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, OC Weekly, and Best American Nonrequired Reading. He currently edits the West Coast literary magazine Santa Monica Review. Managing editor Jaime Campbell has published fiction in Sonora Review, Santa Monica Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Angel City Review.
Citric Acid’s fourth issue will be released in January, 2023. Past issues are available on the website, https://www.citricacid.ink. Additional information about the quarterly can be found on the official Facebook and Instagram pages.
Citric Acid literary journal supports an internship program with two undergraduate students from the University of California, Irvine. The interns for this summer’s issue, Iris Kim and Emma McCandless, have been working alongside the editors to assemble a directory of community-based contacts to develop outreach materials and organize promotional opportunities in addition to contributing editorial comments.