Julie Bifano
Paul Wellman

If you were ever out at Joe’s Cafe one night and saw a human-sized penguin, rest assured it wasn’t as a result of the alcohol. You were probably seeing Julie Bifano, a Santa Barbara native with a penchant for costumes. “I’ll use any excuse to wear one,” said Bifano, who last month began an internship at The Independent that has her copyediting online articles and writing for both the news and arts desks.

An alum of San Marcos High School, Bifano holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco, but she is happy to be back in her old stomping grounds. Come April 2, she will be starting a story and poetry reading at another regular nightspot, Elsie’s. Will she wear the penguin costume? Show up and find out.


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