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Contributions by Michele L'Heureux:

“Refugee Status for the Undocumented”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Michele l’Heureux: I was really moved by how different the person in this poem’s life experience is from my own—that one could be so relieved or desperate to be in a new, presumably safer place that they would allow themselves to imagine all the atrocities that would secure their rightful spot in a new country. Poet Jae Elim: I would love to see this broadside posted at immigration entry points and airports. I want people to think about what kind of privilege they have or do not have when they enter any geographical space.

Artist Michele l’Heureux has spent the last decade as an artist and curator, designing and building dozens of contemporary art exhibitions, including of her own work, at a range of university and nonprofit galleries. Poet Jae Elim is a scholar and artist whose work interrogates the challenges of the immigrant in the United States. Note: Jae Elim is a pseudonym that the poet feels is important to use given the current political climate.

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“Beginning Moon”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Markie Babbott: Michele L’Heureux’s painting invokes and invites. The dreamy use of mixed media layers upon layers, especially the lettering, asks the viewer to stop and observe, to wonder and project.  Artist Michele L’Heureux: I expected a writer to respond to the garden imagery, the florals and greenery, and perhaps the solitude of the female figure. I love that Markie played up the idea of “more,” and that the painting called up for her a quote by Gertrude Stein.

Artist Michele L’Heureux is an artist and curator from Waltham, Mass. She is director of the Beard and Weil Galleries at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass. Poet Markie Babbott’s chapbook, Sus Scrofa, won the 2008 Poets Corner Press Competition. She is a psychologist who lives with her family in western Massachusetts.

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“The Owls”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Laura Kasischke: It’s a strange out-of-the-body experience to see something that was originally just in my mind imagined by someone else. Artist Michele L’Heureux: I have always referenced text in my work but in fragmented and unintelligible ways. Recently, I have begun using literature as direct source material for drawings, paintings, and animated projects.

Poet Laura Kasischke has published eight novels and eight collections of poetry, most recently Space, In Chains, for which she received the National Book Critics Circle Award. Artist Michele L’Heureux is an artist and curator from Waltham, Mass. She is director of the Beard and Weil Galleries at Wheaton College in Norton, Mass.

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“Hockey Poem”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Gibson Fay-LeBlanc: I love the flames that Michele created here, flames made of text. It is the goalie’s words that spark the poem, that set the speaker on fire. Artist Michele L’Heureux: I love the commentary on masculinity in this poem. As a former athlete and the sister of two brothers who played hockey, I understand oppressive locker-room attitudes about gender and sexuality, which can be pervasive.

Poet Gibson Fay-LeBlanc‘s first collection of poems is Death of a Ventriloquist. In 2011 he was named one of Maine’s “emerging leaders” by the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media for his work directing The Telling Room, where he still occasionally teaches writing. Artist Michele L’Heureux is a painter and curator who runs galleries at Wheaton College and at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center.

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