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For Malbec Day: 7 Reasons Why I Love Malbec

April 17, 2014

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Happy Malbec Day today April 17! How will you celebrate?

Originally posted on wine predator:

Have you discovered Malbec yet?

Chances are you’ve had it in a Bordeaux blend, but you may not have had it by itself because

View original 419 more words

Recommended Read for Earth Month: Violence Girl by Alice Bag

April 10, 2014

violencegirlorderformIf you’re into music, grew up in the 70s, are curious about the LA punk scene, or life growing up in East LA, Alice Bag’s book Violence Girl is for you!

“The birth of the 1970′s punk movement as seen through the eyes of Chicana feminist and punk musician Alice Bag. Set against the colorful backdrop of an East LA childhood and the Hollywood Punk Scene, this alternately harrowing and hilarious coming of age tale surveys the sweeping social changes of two decades through a lens of subversive art and thought.” Published by Feral House, 2011.

Alice Bag Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014.

Alice Bag Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014.

Right now I’m taking pre-orders, then you can pick it up Ventura College Earth Day Tues April 22, hear her perform and read, and get her to sign it and personalize it! Only $18 and a great read!

“If I could have a punk show where people were on the same wavelength as me, then that could be a community that works together to achieve common goals. We could be a force that changes the world. And you could be a leader. You can be the person making the change happen, not just someone who is along for the ride. Punk rock really taught me that I had much more power than I realized.” Alice Bag Interview with Elona Jones for Bitch, May 2013
Photo by Martin Sorrondeguy at the Masque, 2014.

Come hear Alice Bag Tues April 22 from 630-730pm. Come early to check out the displays and vendors and hear poetry, speakers, authors, and music. Also appearing at Ventura College Earth Day: readings and dj sets by award winning music historian Tony Fletcher (books on the Clash, REM, The Smiths, Keith Moon and more).

Roosevelt, Recyling, Lucidity

April 6, 2014

VCEDRooseveltTheodore Roosevelt
“We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources … But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil and the gas are exhausted.”


Learn more about VC Earth Day 2014

Reduce. Recreate. Reuse. Recycle.

It starts with you.


NOTE: In addition to breaking a small bone in my hand making it hard to type, I’ve been having some frustrating problems with WordPress and losing content before it gets published. Like the rest of this post…which was all about how so much of the great art at Lucidity is upcycled–taking old stuff bound for the landfill and turning it into useful and beautiful fun pieces that will grace the Lucidity Festival grounds!

Maya Angelou + The Importance of Artists + Festivals

April 5, 2014


According to Maya Angelou,  author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, “When members of a society wish to secure that society’s rich heritage, they cherish their arts and respect their artists. The esteem with which we regard the multiple cultures offered in our country enhances our possibilities for healthy survival and continued social development.” (See more quotes from Maya Angelou).


As we seek environmental justice and social justice, we would be wise to heed Maya Angelou’s advice. Artists provide us with vision, bring us vitality, show us the truth, provide a mirror and a window for  our souls. We must encourage and support a diversity of artistic voices as these voices will help us hear and see the solutions.


The “new” festivals that are blossoming worldwide like Burning Man and Lucidity, or how festivals like Coachella Read more…

Marianne Williamson: Success Means…

April 4, 2014



dolphin play, steelhead run, pelican peer
Channel Island sail, Anacapa arch

salt lips, rock rolls, finch dawns, fog noons, moon climbs
sea, sycamore, sage, lupine, jeffrey scents

Topa Topa pink light, Pine Mountain star night
life, work, growth amidst our sacred landscape

read more about this poem here

Today I planned on posting my poem that celebrates our local landscape and this image of the Topa Topas  by Sheila Louise Photo along with a quote from Marianne Williamson, candidate for Congress in California’s 33rd District (learn more about Congressional candidate Marianne Williamson here):

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.”

I love this quote because if we are going to address social justice and environmental justice, we all need to achieve this kind of success,  using our abilities and talents to successfully pay attention to the Triple Bottom Line of people and planet, not just profit.

Then this morning in a bit of synchronicity, while I was meeting with a student at Peet’s coffee at the table next to us was a woman wearing a  Williamson for Congress shirt!

Happy Poetry Month! Happy Earth Month! Celebrate with us! See you at Ventura College Earth Day April 22!


JFK: We are tied to the ocean

April 3, 2014

10150041_10203721950236202_653635915_n“We are tied to the ocean,” said John F. Kennedy, “and when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch, we are going back from whence we came.”

Today is the third day of both National Poetry Month and Earth Month, and today I am writing to invite you to hear poet Dian Sousa from San Luis Obispo County read tonight at EP Foster Library in the Topping Room at 7:30pm (651 E. Main Street, Ventura). Hosted each Thursday (except the fourth Thursday) by Phil Taggart, an open mic.

I chose this Earth Month poster for today because when I think of poets who write about and love the sea, about poets who go back from whence we came, I think of Dian, an ocean loving surfing poet if there ever was one. The video below, with a funny introduction about national poetry month, gives you a taste of Dian’s work and performance style.
Marsha de la O on Dian Sousa’s new book, The Marvels Recorded in My Private Closet.
Praise this turbulence, the multitudes inside it,
voices barking, cawing, roaring drunken anthems
to “the broken-toothed edge of the beat up world.”
Praise the rank luxury of feral imagination, lavish
and surreal, fiercely loyal to what “lurks in the depths
and is not crushed.” Praise the humor that stings,
exaggerations made of broken glass, the long line
of a restless spirit perhaps especially prone to lashings. 
Toss back these words like shots of mescal, let their
truths burn beautifully down your throat.  Reader,
the voice is oceanic, flowing undivided currents,
boundless, blue, faithful to the curl of the wave,
the axioms of indigo.  What if poetry is meant to
transform us?  Pick up this book.  Each poem is an
axe and you’re the kindling log ready to be split open,
waiting to burst into flame.
future featured readers
April 10        Kim Young
April 17        Doris Vernon
April 24        NO READING
May 1          Sandra Knapp
May 8          Alex M. Frankel
May 15        Rick Smith
May 22        NO READING
May 29        Alex M. Frankel
June 5        Kevin Patrick & Patti Sullivan
June 19        Perie Longo
July 17         Sandra Hunter


Cesar Chavez: What better books can there be than the book of humanity?

April 2, 2014

VCEDheadshotsOJAI“Real education should consist of drawing goodness and the best out of our own students,” said Cesar Chavez. “What better books can there be than the book of humanity?”

As we were working on posters for Earth Day that could also celebrate the life and work of Cesar Chavez around his birthday on Monday and an event at Ventura College the previous Wednesday, we found lots of great quotes.

But the one above, and on this poster, is one of my favorites. In fact it graces one of the assignments that I give each semester where we place stories from our lives side by side to learn from them.

Since April is Earth Month AND National Poetry Month, I thought this would be a good poster for today. On it you can see who will be sharing their stories at Ventura College’s Earth Day April 22 from 3-9pm.


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