Perry Shirley

Wonk on the Wildlife’s artist, Perry Shirley, is a minor blip in 21st-century American journalism, a field he majored in at select Bay Area colleges mostly because it sure beat English Lit. In 2004, he won the Associated Collegiate Press “Reporter of the Year” award. Although that honor earned him enough to pay rent that month he was not, alas, immediately awarded a staff position at The New York Times. So he went on with his studies and earned a BA from SF State in Journalism in 2010, two years after finishing classes because he doesn’t like to file papers.

Perry ShirleyRealizing he enjoys the school atmosphere, Mr. Shirley is slowly but surely becoming a teacher, returning to his native tongue by working at a French private school in Berkeley. In his spare time he pushes brushes, Rapidographs, quills, pencils and fountain pens across various paper products in order to fashion “art” with great zeal and varying aplomb. In due time and with diligence, this endeavor is bound to support part of his lifestyle.

Mr. Shirley is a contributor to various journalistic endeavors including, but not limited to, founding a satirical Bay Area-based newspaper, The Fish Wrap. Realizing he was fascinated by obscure words like “defenestrate” Mr. Shirley decided to go ahead and write a dictionary, already. He created and maintains the website Word Goggles which purports to unearth the hidden French root of so many English words found in astonishingly common vernacular. He lives and bike-commutes in Oakland, California.

Were you to try and reach Perry Shirley, it would behoove you to send an electronic-mail missive to

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