Memoirs: Five to Fall For

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Here are the fall 2014 Book Club Choices for my VC students

Originally posted on art predator:

As a college writing teacher, I have the responsibility to select what my students read. These writers they read then inform  their writing styles, choices, and subjects that they write about this semester –and often, influence choices that shape the rest of their lives.

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“Cuento Cups” Exhibit in Ventura Seeks Submissions; Opens Oct. 3

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

extra credit opportunities!

Originally posted on art predator:

I don’t do fast food very often. In fact, my idea of fast food is getting bolognese sauce from Ferraros and adding it to pasta I cook at home. Sometimes I splurge and get their blue cheese dressing to add to my salad at home with tomatoes I grew. So no surprise I missed out on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s take-out cups and bags getting personal narrative essays penned by ten authors, thought-leaders, and comedians.

Somehow, not one Mexican, Mexican-American or Latina/o writer was invited to participate. 

Huh? What’s up with that?

Anna Bermudez, curator of collections at the Museum of Ventura County and Michele Serros, author and El Rio native, decided to rectify the situation:

“So, artists, writers, and thought thinkers of ALL backgrounds: can you spin a story as original as a staff writer for The New Yorker? Be as funny as Sarah Silverman? As esthetically pleasing as…well, you get…

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It’s Time to Speak Your Peace: Where, How

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

great opportunities for activism, not to mention ways to get ideas for research papers, and extra credit!

Originally posted on art predator:

10381988_10203981724880127_5735914313048640943_nWhile I was reading student papers this morning, a flash of orange caught my eye: the first monarch butterfly of fall.

The maps say I live in Ventura on the edge of Prince Barranca on the bluff above where it dips down to join San Jon Barranca and then the Pacific Ocean.

But the Chumash lived here before I did. For the Chumash, as for me, the return of the monarchs was also a sign of the equinox–of the days getting shorter and the nights longer, and for the Chumash, the time for the Harvest Festival to give thanks to Hutash. 

For the Chumash, this is also the start of the new year.

With the arrival of the San Buenaventura Mission, the Festival for Hutash became San Miguel Days as San Miguel Day is in late September. As Ventura became more secular, the celebration of harvest took place in late…

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Join the 3:15 Experiment TONIGHT!

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Join the 3:15 Experiment TONIGHT! Set your alarm for 3:15am and write! Read on for directions, history and more.

Originally posted on art predator:

315time4transformation1It’s July 31! That means it’s time to set your clocks for 3:15am and participate in the 3:15 Experiment, a writing experiment for poets/people who want to experience writing  in a different non-drug induced state on consciousness, in this case, a between sleeps or hypnopompic/hypnogogic state of consciousness, where you are neither quite asleep or wide awake.


  • Begin at 3:15 AM on August 1. THAT’S TONIGHT. Continue each day until August 31.
  • You may write any length, style, form, content, voice, rhythm, etc.
  • DO NOT EDIT your work. This is raw stuff, baby. That’s part of the experiment. You are welcome to edit, collage, break apart the poems later for whatever purpose you choose, but please SHARE THE RAW STUFF with us on the website after the experiment.
  • (Optional) Do not read what you have written until the month is over…

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#ThatDamNation Floods 23 @Patagonia Stores TODAY

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

New documentary highlights how we became a #damnation and what we should do about it. Watch for a showing at Ventura College fall 2014!

Originally posted on art predator:

DamNation floods 23 Patagonia Retail Stores across the country today, Thursday, June 5th, 2014; #ThatDamNation photo contest ends June 7.

A ragingly powerful and award-winning documentary film, Damnation explores our dam culture and examines the change in “attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers.” The #ThatDamNation contest invites YOU to contribute to the conversation with photos of your own (scroll down for details).

“DamNation’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature,”states the DamNation website.


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I Don’t Consider Myself a Misogynist

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

worth reading, reflecting, and responding!

Originally posted on Poorly Edited :

I used to identify myself as a maleist. That is, I believed that the rights of men were being whittled away by American women. I believed that we were raising a generation of men to be pussies. We were stamping out natural male instincts in an attempt to keep them subdued. We were telling American men that they should be ashamed of their sex and instincts.

I’m sure Fight Club had something to do with this.

I don’t identify as a maleist anymore. I find myself thinking these thoughts from time to time. I realize that they are misguided. But, they’re still lingering.

I don’t consider myself a misogynist… but….

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Tribute to Dr. Maya Anglelou

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Rest in Peace, Maya Angelou!

Originally posted on art predator:

10402751_10152446595928540_6381259218008559795_nDoes my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

–Maya Angelou

Just last month I posted about Maya Angelou, connecting her words from one of our Earth Day Posters about artists with transformational festivals like Burning Man and Lucidity:

“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.” (Read it here).

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Alex Frankel reads in Ventura 5/8/14

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Gwendolyn Alley’s Ventura College students will be reading in the open mic which follows Alex Frankel’s featured reading 730pm Thurs. May 8 at the EP Foster Library in Ventura. Join us!

Originally posted on art predator:

This Thursday, May 8 poet Alex M. Frankel features at the EP Foster Library in the Topping Room at 7:30pm. Located at 651 E. Main Street in downtown Ventura, the free reading will be hosted by Dane Baylis and an open mic follows where I and many of my students will be reading from our class publication! Here’s another sample poem by Alex M. Frankel:
     Ode to 7-Eleven
How are you tonight, 7-Eleven? with your smell

of departure and annoyance, your white bread, your drain cleaners,

your puddings, your cockroaches fanning out over the parking lot

like glossy marzipan soldiers lugging fearsome shadows.

It must be lovely to watch for dawn

coming over the EverTrust Bank and the Chevron station,

it must be trying

for the lively man with the turban (sales associate #33323)

to hang out with the seven moving objects of the sky,


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It’s May the Fourth: How Will You Celebrate Star Wars Day?

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Happy Star Wars Day!

Originally posted on art predator:


No! Try not. Do. Or do not. There is no try.

You must feeeeeeeel the force around you.

For my ally is the force, and a powerful ally it is.

Size matters not. Look at me! Judge me by my size do you?


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What if people told European history like they told Native American history?

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Compare this with the history taught in your college classes…

Originally posted on An Indigenous History of North America:

The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded, their lives were ruled by strict hierarchies within the family and outside it to control resources. Europe was highly multi-ethnic, and most tribes were ruled by hereditary leaders who commanded the majority “commoners.” These groups were engaged in near constant warfare.

Pre-contact Europeans wore clothing made of natural materials such as animal skin and plant and animal-based textiles. Women wore long dresses and covered their hair, and men wore tunics and leggings. Both men and women liked to wear jewelry made from precious stones and metals as a sign of status. Before contact, Europeans had very poor diets. Most people were farmers and grew wheat and vegetables and raised cows and sheep to eat. They rarely washed themselves, and had many diseases because…

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