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Contributions by Millian Pham Lien Giang:

“In Her It Is In Her”

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Collaborators’ Q&A

Poet Stacey Balkun:…the balance, depth, and sheer blueness of this piece drew me in. I’ve been writing a series of cryptic poems about my own adoption as a baby, and viewing this image helped me phrase the emotions. Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang: The layers of ambiguity in the poem refract the flora and human elements in the art. I appreciate being able to empathize with the main subject in the poem.

Millian Pham Lien Giang is a visual artist and educator. When she’s not preaching and teaching the finer points of fine art, Pham focuses on many modes of visual art perception in her practice. Poet Stacey Balkun is the author of Sweetbitter & co-editor of Fiolet & Wing: An Anthology of Domestic Fabulist Poetry. Winner of the 2019 New South Writing Contest as well as Terrain.org’s 10th Annual Contest.

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“Feast of Banana Spiders, Starlight, and Roadkill”

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Collaborators’ Q&A

Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang: This poem captures the existential dread of my generation—of having to toil away at jobs that unnecessarily require years of experience and degrees in exchange for crappy wages. It also captures that angst of knowing you have so much potential, training, and ambition. Poet Alison Pelegrin: The house/refuge in the center of Millian’s piece is something I see differently after nearly two years of staying home. I think that the collaboration has a strong connection to the current moment as restrictions are being lifted and we begin to step tentatively out into the world. 

Millian Pham Lien Giang focuses on many modes of visual art perception in her practice. Overlapping themes of gender, class, and culture are captured through images, objects, and events in her work. Alison Pelegrin is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Our Lady of Bewilderment and Waterlines.

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“Fat Girl Triolet”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Stephanie Rogers: I’d post it outside every Weight Watchers (WW) meeting and make it required reading before entering. Fat women especially need to begin seeing and hearing about fatness outside the context of body hatred. Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang: When first reading and rereading the poem, I thought it was mostly about body image. But after much reflection before, during, and after making the artwork, and then seeing the pairing of art and poetry on this broadside, it’s more than just about body image. It’s about self-image and the self’s relation to all these outside forces.

Artist and educator Millian Pham Lien Giang is on a quest for gestures that shape perception through visual and verbal language. Poet Stephanie Rogers is the author of Plucking the Stinger (Saturnalia Books, 2016) and Fat Girl Forms (Saturnalia Books, 2021).

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“Choke”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Poet Katherine Fallon: In looking back over this poem in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests, I am struck by the title, of course, which feels both timely and entirely inappropriate. I intended to meditate on silencing, particularly through the lens of femininity and queerness, but that silencing takes on a new meaning in this context… Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang: As an artist, I work to make visible the effects of oppressive structures on the body through my art. This theme leads me to use signifiers rooted in cultural, social, and individual history as a layered intersectional experience. Square Not: Durian Flowers and Dragon Fruits, the art for this broadside, is a composition about the harsh reality of being a cycle breaker in the face of outmoded tradition and structures. The knot in the composition is not a true knot, and is used to signify the hope for eventual escape and liberation of the next generation.

Poet Katherine Fallon‘s poems have appeared in Colorado Review, Permafrost and others. Her chapbook, The Toothmakers’ Daughters, is available through Finishing Line Press. Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang is a visual artist and educator who focuses on many modes of visual art perception in her practice.

 

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“The Liberation of the Peon”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang: It was the idea of reading an image that got me started with combining words with images. Poet Barbara de la Cuesta: I love the different glimpses into parts of the painting that reflect images in the poem.

Poet Barbara de la Cuesta is the author of the poetry collection Rosamundo. Her novel Rosa won a Human Relations Indie Award. Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang is a visual artist and educator who focuses on many modes of visual art perception in her practice.

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“Science Lesson”

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Collaborators’ Q&A: What inspires you in this poem? What drew you to it? Artist Millian Pham Lien Giang: The subject is very relevant to the push and pull of our current social structures, where many are still standing up for their humanity and others have yet to grasp the harm of their beliefs. Did the visual artist refract any element of the poem that made you see the poem differently? Poet Corrie Williamson: [It] is an interesting contrast to the poem’s moody moon images, which to me suggest roundness and femininity. I like that the image brings out the rigidity of rule and measure, and reinforces the poem’s suggestion that the speaker is trapped or enclosed by laws or standards she cannot alter.

Poet Corrie Williamson is the author of Sweet Husk and the forthcoming The River Where You Forgot My Name. Find her at corriewilliamson.space. Visual artist and educator Millian Pham Lien Giang is on a quest for gestures that shape perception through visual and verbal language. altimablossom.net

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