A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Samuel Adeyemi

with Samuel A. Adeyemi

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Samuel: 2017 was when I started writing poetry. At least, intentionally. My first influences were notably William Wordsworth and a number of classical poets we were introduced to in secondary school. But as I progressed to a more contemporary style, initially, Rudy Fransisco, Sabrina Benaim, Donte Collins, and some other Button Poetry poets heavily influenced me. 

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Samuel: That would definitely be Kaveh Akbar. The intense admiration I have for him and his work influences my style, sometimes subconsciously.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Samuel: I grew up and still live in Abuja, Nigeria. Childhood was mostly an indoor and introverted experience. To be honest, it still is. So the world outside seldom influences my poems. But again, that is a kind of influence. The regulated, confined way of life is the reason my poems are mostly about the self and confessional. It makes sense, I think. If the poet cannot look outward, he would have no choice but to dive inward.

Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work that you’ve done creatively so far?

Samuel: I recently finished writing and compiling poems for my chapbook manuscript. It’s quite meaningful to me because the collection, woven around a theme, practically mirrors my personal experiences.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Samuel: I don’t think I remember any moment where I said, “you know what? I wanna do this poetry thing all my life.” Heck, I never said to myself “I want to become a poet.” The art found me and I allowed it to stay. It’s like you’re walking on the road and your toes catch a marble, then you decide to keep it. 

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Samuel: I listen to a lot of music. To those around me, my playlist is a chaotic synthesis. Can’t fault that. Think a Bring Me the Horizon song after a Kendrick Lamar one. Then Lana Del Rey. I also watch movies or anime in my free time. Football, too. 

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Samuel: My recent publication is this poem in Blue Marble Review: https://bluemarblereview.com/minnows/

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?


“But I do not know what to 

weave from faith.   Prayer reminds me 

what absence tethers me from,

when I fold myself to kneel as a saint,

a lily wilts before my teeth.   As if to say,

crawl to your mother’s feet and confess your


(From “Applying Psalms 121 to a Gentile” in Leavings Lit Mag).

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?


I’ve never had direct mentorship from anyone, so reading my favourite writers has helped me grow. 









A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Barton Smock

with Barton Smock:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Barton: I began completing poems in 2008, but had written long before many untitled things and many death metal lyrics for bands I was never in. My first poetic influences were Mark Strand, Yusef Komunyakaa, Sharon Olds, James Tate, Judy Jordan, Jorie Graham, Andrew Hudgins.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Barton: Even though I came to him late…Franz Wright. I think he was there.

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing? Have any travels away from home influence your work?

Barton: I grew up in smalltown Ohio. I’m not sure what that means, but that’s usually what I say. If there is something in my bones, I’d say it’s some sort of cold that sends a toddler outside in a diaper to stand on a cement block to see the ocean.

I haven’t been to too many places physically. Influence, to me, has always seemed sort of doomed. I do have four children, and they come with their own territories. My youngest son has a progressive disorder of the muscle and the brain, which often makes of place an empty dot that we go skin-to-skin to fill. It’s that filling that uproots.

Q4: What do you consider your most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Barton: As I am parented by the recent, I’d have to say a longer exploration titled ‘diets of the resurrected’ which is included in my most current self-published collection rocks have the softest shadows. It was a year in the making or unmaking, and is an entry-guided piece that started with the idea of a suicidal baby and came with so many rules that I abandoned them immediately in favor of repeating my obsessions. I think I failed the monster but not the creature.

Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?

Barton: As a child, I think, pretending to be asleep in the backseat of our family car while my brothers fought or did not fight, while my parents sang gospel songs, because there, or once there, I knew without knowing that dreams had no memory and that one can be, perpetually, a reverent fraud of the moment.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Barton: Watching movie trailers.

Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects that you’d like to promote?

Barton: I recently had a chapbook published by Trainwreck Press called ‘Skin To Skin In An Unmarked Life’ that I’m happy John C. Goodman wanted to put on paper. It’s one of those small things that the seeing of wouldn’t fit in my eye.

Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from a poem of yours or others?


I can’t always find the year I believed in god

from a series of poems called city

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?


I don’t know if they’d know it, really, but poets Kazim Ali, Johannes Göransson, Camonghne Felix, Dylan Krieger, Molly McCully Brown. In terms of not fleeing your phobias, infatuations. Your excess. Not replacing exodus, nor doubling pilgrimage.  


Barton Smock is the author of the chapbook Skin To Skin In An Unmarked Life (Trainwreck Press, 2021) and of the full-length Ghost Arson (Kung Fu Treachery Press, 2018). He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his wife and four children and writes often at kingsoftrain.com






A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Margaret Viboolsittiseri aka Maggs Vibo

Thanks to Maggs for designing our Q9 Logos

with Maggs Vibo

Q1: When did you start writing/art and first influences?

Maggs: My Grandma used to call me an old soul during our conversations. She said that adults enjoyed my stories and songs. For learning, she advised wandering outside and listening to the teachings of nature. My Mom advised burning sage and handed me a paintbrush to deal with problems. My Dad advised defying dogma and looking to the cosmos for purpose. My influencers were artists because my parents loved art. Music filled our home and pondered war, art, feminism, drugs, and the government. Artists provided lyrical inspiration for the big and small questions in life. My childhood was a time of exploration and imagination. I suppose nowadays society calls this a free-range childhood. A sense of freedom is my earliest recollection of poetry and art.

Dad playing fiddle

Q2: Who has inspired or helped you the most with writing?

Maggs: All the great crafters of lore… especially Niki de Saint Phalle. I’ve always admired the way she morphed storytelling her trauma into an art triumph.

Niki de Saint Phalle at Atlanta, GA (2006)

Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art?

Maggs: My family lived on farms in the Heartland of the United States. It was an excellent opportunity to observe the natural world. Folklore is embedded in art because of oral storytelling traditions. Today we use memes and other technologies, but it is just a continuation of ancient stories told in new ways with new methods. Everything I learned about animals and the countryside, along with old fables and tales, influences my art today.

Q4: Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?

Maggs: My first trip abroad was for a Nanny gig in Canberra, Australia. I’ve deployed as a GWOT soldier. Additionally, military assignments took my spouse (a soldier) and me (his spouse) to Europe, Asia and Hawaii. I feel privileged to write about these multicultural experiences. I never take for granted the circumstances (wars) which led to the opportunities.

Maggs Vibo and CW4 Wattana Viboolsittiseri aboard USS Missouri, 2017

Q5: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?

Maggs: My work in the military community over the past two decades is the most meaningful. It started with art I contributed to events commemorating the fallen. Later, I wrote an article about an Army staff sergeant named Daniel A. Bader. In 2004, a college literary journal published a poem I wrote about an experience during one of my convoys near what was known as Tallil Air Base (located in Nasiriyah, Iraq). I created pieces for the Veterans Writing Project (including a journal written by all women and an anthology covering 2012-2017). In 2018, I collaborated with Jerri Bell and Tracy Crow on women warrior history programs for the National Park Service. In 2020, Oxford Brookes University invited me to a poetry workshop facilitated by Niall Munro, Susie Campbell, and Jane Potter. It was an intimate gathering of women veterans from the US and UK which studied war and poetry. From this workshop, and other veterans’ poetry workshops, the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre published ‘My teeth don’t chew on shrapnel’: an anthology of poetry by military veterans (a free pdf available for download at: https://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/veterans–poetry-workshops/). This meaningful work led to many collaborative projects outside the military community. Nowadays, I try to engage at least once a quarter in programs which help bridge the civilian and military divide.

Women’s History Program at Prince George County Regional Heritage Center, L to R: Jerri Bell, Reinetta VanEendenburg, Ranger Maggs Vibo and Tracy Crow, 2018.

Q6: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist/poet?

Maggs: All throughout my childhood I was regarded as a nerdy thespian. I sang songs, danced poorly, walked around with paint under my fingernails and boasted my participation in art and drama club. The death of my grandpa had a big impact on my writing. I wrote a short story which discussed his leg amputation and mobility challenges. In the essay, I talked about his alcohol abuse, use of painkillers and how addiction led to his downward health spiral. My short story placed at state competition. I was invited to a soiree where my parents and friends watched me receive a plaque. This was my first recognition for writing. More than anything, I remember how telling my truth helped my family process our collective grief. The essay is stored inside a cedar chest Dad crafted for safekeeping all of my Mom’s favorite things.

Q7: Favorite activities to relax?

Maggs: I like to cycle the Virginia Capital Trail to the marina to have a local brew, catch the sun on the water and cycle back home to spend time with my two dogs. If it involves being outside in nature (or staring lovingly at my dogs) I regard it as true bliss.

Q8: One of your favorite lines from your poem/song, or favorite piece of art of photograph.

Maggs: Favorite line from a poet is Walt Whitman’s “Do I contradict myself?” As a Park Ranger, I gave battlefield interpretive tours out at Petersburg National Battlefield. Each tour discussed the ways contradiction exists in telling the stories of the American Civil War… and all the other conflicts throughout history. Favorite singer: Neil Finn. Favorite book: Black Elk Speaks. Favorite art: ancient art. Favorite movie: Paprika (2006 film). Favorite photograph: NASA image of boot print on the lunar soil.

Pu’uloa Petroglyphs, Big Island, Hawaii, 2014

Q9 Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?

I have a visual poetry piece on exhibition until the end of summer in Virginia. I also work forthcoming in 2 pubs from Paris and a journal from South Asia (all before the end of summer, 2021). I am thrilled to have 10 pieces in Experiment-0, Issue 14, Autumn 2021 Release. The rest is listed on Poemythology.com


Website: poemythology.com

Photography from Maggs Vibo : Lone Road on Island of Moloka’i I Don’t Need Anesthesia: Photo Art & Poetry by Maggs Vibo

Poem by Maggs Vibo : “Naked”

Fevers of the Mind Fog by Maggs Vibo (photography/art)

Juneteenth Morning by Maggs Vibo

Margaret Viboolsittiseri (aka Maggs Vibo) works in print, broadcast, special events, glitch media, and online. She is a contributor for Poem Atlas and has experimental art in the winnow
magazine, Coven Poetry, Ice Floe Press, The Babel Tower Notice Board, ang(st), The Wombwell Rainbow. Recent anthologies include Poem Atlas ‘aww-struck’, Steel Incisors, Fevers of the
Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 (January, 2021) and ‘My teeth don’t chew on shrapnel’: an anthology of poetry by military veterans (Oxford Brookes, 2020). She tweets @maggsvibo
and her website is https://www.maggsvibo.com/

Visual Poetry by Maggs Vibo : the Year of the Ox

New Collage Art by Maggs Vibo

Visual Poetry by Maggs Vibo: Drinking the Ash Pt 1 & 2