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Oh, Yes, Stacy Russo!

Art by Stacy Russo

Oh, Yes, Another Learning Experience! Introducing Artist Stacy Russo

In producing this issue of Citric Acid our managing editor Jaime Campbell queried me about introductory notes accompanying our presentation of four paintings by poet, librarian, biographer and “Love Activist” Stacy Russo. There were none, perhaps because she doesn’t, shouldn’t at this point even need an introduction. Yet I had only recently become aware of her impressive creative output myself (see Irvine Valley College’s journal The Ear), so figured that readers might welcome one. I’ll keep it short, and refer you to her website, where Russo’s many projects are collected, and encourage readers to purchase her latest books, Wild Crone Wisdom and Beyond 70: The Lives of Creative Women, and to pre-order her forthcoming, One Day I Started a New Life.

Meanwhile, I used to have a favorite bumper sticker on the door of my one-time office at UC Irvine, a funny if self-consciously ironic and self-effacing slogan meant, perversely, to celebrate the struggle of teaching, being a student, becoming a civically engaged individual, and more: “Oh, No,” it read, “Not Another Learning Experience!” Ha, ha. While I stick by my provocative and mildly sarcastic sticker, and depend on the smart-assery and existential slapstick of its message, I am so incredibly inspired by Russo’s art that at least while I read her poems in this issue, read her conversation with novelist Mary Camarillo and take in her graphic work, I mean to suspend all sarcasm, reluctance, and fatalism as I find myself exclaiming, “Oh, yes, another learning experience!” The four pieces below somehow brighten and motivate and empower and jump and pop in ways I need just now, and I trust you will share my experience. I have tried to find myself in “Growing Up in Southern California in the 1980s," as the scene so joyfully and powerfully represents the best of youthful (and enduring) punk rock celebration, resistance and creativity, all of which Russo’s work portrays and evokes. Enjoy all of these paintings, read her manifesto, buy her books, and learn more about this singularly multi-talented contributor at  Play loud! - at


California Dreaming (My Mom and Grandma in California)

Growing Up in Southern California in the 1980s

Do You Ever Think of Me Like I Think of You

Fender's Ballroom, Long Beach, California, in the 1980s


Stacy Russo, librarian/associate professor at Santa Ana College, is a writer, poet, visual artist, librarian, and DIY oral historian who is committed to creating art and books for a more peaceful world. Stacy is a current PhD student at California Institute of Integral Studies. She writes across the genres of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. She is also the author/illustrator of two children’s picture books. Stacy's books have been adapted for university classes and featured on National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting System, Sirius XM Radio, KCET Artbound, LA Weekly, and various other media channels. One Day I Started a New Life, an art book featuring Stacy’s collages and mixed media work over the last decade, is forthcoming from Sacramento-based Litwin Books. If a large pot of gold fell in her backyard, she would follow her dream of opening a community gathering place called the Wild Librarian Bakery and Bookstore. Stacy eats chocolate before noon every day and always takes her coffee black. She lives on a purple tree-lined street in Santa Ana, California, with her two dogs from Coastal German Shepherd Rescue.

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