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#HarryPotter20: Must See Dance Video plus Photos of London’s Harry Potter World

October 13, 2018


Just in time for the 20th anniversary celebrations today of J.K. Rowling publishing the Harry Potter series of books, check out this very creative video that tracks the arc of the novels from beginning to end! And below, learn about why YOU should definitely check out “The Harry Potter Experience!” Read more…


liz gonzalez dances on the Santa Ana Winds to Ventura to read tonight Th. 10/11 730pm

October 11, 2018


Sonia Sanchez says that “All poets, all writers are political. They either maintain the status quo or they say “Something’s wrong, let’s change it to the better.” Meet liz gonzalez, one those writers who has worked for years as a community college teacher and as a community leader to change the world through her words and her work to make the world better.

This Thursday, October 11, at 730pm, Long Beach poet liz gonzález will be the featured at the EP Foster Library in the Topping Room 651 E. Main Street, Ventura, located across of from Winchester’s in downtown Ventura. Hosted by Ventura County Poet Laureate  Phil Taggart, the event is free and open to the public with an open mic following the featured reading. 

According to her website, “liz gonzález, a fourth generation Southern Californian, grew up in the San Bernardino Valley. She is the author of Dancing in the Santa Ana Winds: Poems y Cuentos New and Selected (Los Nietos Press 2018) and the poetry collection Beneath Bone (Manifest Press 2000). Her poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published widely and will appear in or recently appeared in Voices de la Luna, the City of Los Angeles 2017 Latino Heritage Month Calendar and Cultural Guide and Litbreak Magazine, and in the anthologies, Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and Voices from Leimert Park Anthology Redux.

Read more…

Fall Books 2018: Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl

October 4, 2018

As we move into fall, it’s time to settle in by the fire and read!

Or more likely, here in sunny southern California, sit at the beach and read…

In late August, I devoured Lab Girl by by Hope Jahren, the book selected by Ventura College for our “One Book One Campus” program. That means faculty are encouraged to use the book in their classes across disciplines and to make public special events and speakers, particularly during the month of October.  Read more…

Out of the Mud and Ashes We Rise for Ventura’s 2018 ArtWalk

October 4, 2018

There’s plenty of inspiring art to go around this weekend in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties!

“It’s all about the descent into the shadow, and coming back out,” “Out of the Mud and Ashes Artistic Director John Lengsfelder said recently in an interview with the SB Independent. “It’s shattering; it’s raw; it’s the earth; it’s dark; it’s perilous — and yet we have to see our way out. That is what we are trying to do.”

In Santa Barbara at the Lobero Theater on Saturday night, I am excited to be joining these artists  with my spoken word performance “What Does Thomas Teach Us?” Read more…

LANGUAGE: In a Word, a World

October 2, 2018

Words are written language, and carry for us the breath of life.

As a writer, words are my paints on my palette, my tools in my tool box.

Words are everything — and they are nothing if we don’t imbue them with power, with meaning, if we don’t follow the advice to “choose our words wisely.”

Poets and writers are passionate about words as described by poet C.D. Wright in her prose poem “In a Word, a World”:

I love them all.

I love that a handful, a mouthful, gets you by, a satchelful can land you a job, a well-chosen clutch of them could get you laid, and that a solitary word can initiate a stampede, and therefore can be formally outlawed — even by a liberal court bent on defending a constitution guaranteeing unimpeded utterance. I love that the Argentine gaucho has over two hundred words for the coloration of horses and the Sami language of Scandinavia has over a thousand words for reindeer based on age, sex, appearance-e.g., a busat has big balls or only one big ball. More than the pristine, I love the filthy ones for their descriptive talent as well as transgressive nature. I love the dirty ones more than the minced, in that I respect extravagant expression more than reserved. I admire reserve, especially when taken to an ascetic nth. I love the particular lexicons of particular occupations. The substrate of those activities. The nomenclatures within nomenclatures. I am of the unaccredited school that believes animals did not exist until Adam assigned them names. My relationship to the word is anything but scientific; it is a matter of faith on my part, that the word endows material substance, by setting the thing named apart from all else. Horse, then, unhorses what is not horse.

Read more…

Honest Abe: I’d Rather Play Video Games

September 18, 2018


Did you know that Abraham Lincoln would rather be playing video games? It must be true because he said so — right there on a t-shirt I bought at  department store. Why would they lie?

So I actually got this t-shirt for my son but I knew I’d want to borrow it. So far, he has no interest in wearing it — but I’m wearing it today to class to talk about RESEARCH and SOURCES. Whether in a research paper, a blog post or a presidential tweet, it is critical that credible sources are used and cited as possible and where necessary.  Read more…

Do you have Nature Deficit Disorder? Do you need a Nature Fix? Join a Coastal Cleanup!

September 13, 2018


Richard Louv coined the term “nature deficit disorder” to describe modern society’s lack of connection to nature.

Florence Williams describes the “Nature Fix” in her book of the same title:


Can nature really make us feel better, do better, and be better?

I think so!

And so do many researchers.

Children of all ages need to get outside and explore, play, and test boundaries by climbing trees, creating structures, and going deep into nature. But in the US, this just isn’t happening as much any more. The video below compares and contrasts childhood experiences with nature in the US with this elf children in Europe:

Read more…

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