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

Links:

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

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Maggs Vibo

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

https://icefloepress.net/2020/11/15/half-breed-drive-a-visual-poem-by-maggs-vibo-pt-1-of-a-maggs-vibo-feature/

https://thepoetryquestion.com/2021/02/19/tpq5-maggs-vibo/

https://thewombwellrainbow.com/2020/11/20/nema-a-poetry-film-by-maggs-vibo/

https://radar.brookes.ac.uk/radar/items/dd9d92c2-a37c-4816-b409-5a911d2d88e1/1/

https://smallmachinetalks.com/index.php/tag/maggs-vibo/

https://tinyseedjournal.com/2020/11/03/eastern-tiger-swallowtail-caterpillar/

The Art/Photography of Heidi Miller Krause from Fevers of the Mind Issue 1

(c) Heidi Miller Krause
Bio from 2019 from Heidi:
Since childhood, I have dabbled in and created artwork. I have changed my use of mediums many times throughout my art journey.
I now use a variety of tools and mediums in order to express myself. I create according to my mood, and truly love experimenting. You may see a painting one day, a collage another and...my style is ever evolving. I am happier not being bored or bound to one style or medium at this time. For me, it is more fun to learn through trial and error, turning my mistakes into beauty and allowing whatever medium I am using lead me into that finished piece.
My paintings are inspired by the massive size of infinity in space, or the tiniest of cells and bacteria that cannot be seen by the naked eye. My collages are more about my dreams and my own feelings and experiences in life. My work is meant to inspire, heal, and create a longing in others to dig deeper into their own personal convictions. 

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Maggs Vibo

A person with long hair

Description automatically generated with medium confidence 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 poemythology.com.

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

Visual Poetry by Maggs Vibo : the Year of the Ox

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

Maggs Vibo (she/her) is an artist, scholar and war veteran from Richmond, Virginia. She has

experimental art and poetry films at Icefloe Press. Her art is also available at The Babel Tower

Notice Board, Ang(st) Zine and Poem Atlas. Her war poetry is available in e-anthologies with

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, the Veterans Writing Project, Army @ The Fringe and

forthcoming with the Veterans Writing Workshop. She tweets @maggsvibo and her website is

Poemythology.com

Margaret Viboolsittiseri

Website: poemythology.com

Women of Rural Gothic @thefolklorepodcast

“Half-Breed Drive” and “Nema” available @IceFloe Press

“Aesop 2020” @Babel.com https://www.thebabeltowernoticeboard.com/

“The Year of the Rat” in Ang(st) Distance Project 3.0 angstfzine.com

Collage art entitled “To Our Fallen as part ‘Escapisms’ @PoemAtlas.com

Pieces in the Anthology: https://o-dark-thirty.org/the-review-2/

“Rage” in e-Anthology: https://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/veterans–poetry-workshops/Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/maggsvibo

Wolfpack Contributor Bio: Maggs Vibo