with Marisa Silva-Dunbar
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Marisa: I seriously started writing when I was 18. I took an intro to creative writing poetry, and that workshop helped me become a poet. My influences at the time were Sarah E. Azizi, Francesca Lia Block and Sandra Cisneros.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Marisa: I really enjoy Amber Tamblyn’s writing. Dark Sparkler is a collection that is always on my mind.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing/art? Have any travels away from home influenced work/describe?
Marisa: I lived in Miami for seven years, and the rest of my youth was spent in New Mexico. I definitely feel the Southwest has had more of an influence on me. The desert is with me no matter where I go. In some ways it’s paradise.
I also spent two years in England, and that experience has stayed with me. I’ve written some about the people I met, and the city I lived in. At some point I would like to have at least a micro-chap focused on my time there.
Q4: What do you consider the most meaningful work you’ve done creatively so far?
Marisa: I would say my manuscript about Allison Mack (who was in the cult NXIVM and one of the women in DOS). I used both her own blog, and the Frank Report (one of the first places to break the news) to create remixed poems. I also wrote original work as well. It’s taken me three years to get it where it is today, and at the time I started creating it and did most of the writing, I was in a relationship with a narcissist. Mack was under the spell of Raniere who is also a narcissist. So I feel like there were parallels I was unaware of at the time. I wrote about her unraveling when I was losing control of my own life.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Marisa: I knew I wanted to be a poet after my first semester of creative writing, but I didn’t realize it was home until I was attending a class while studying abroad. Something just clicked then and it felt right.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Marisa: I enjoy listening to true crime stories, or watching crime related shows, and the Golden Girls. I love dancing bachata, playing board games with friends, drawing, and one of my absolute favorite things to do is going for late night drives with a close friend.
Q7: Any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
Marisa: I have an upcoming piece in “Denmark: An Eyes Wide Shut Anthology.” https://dailydrunkmag.com/2020/12/28/denmark-or-creating-an-anthology-of-writing-about-eyes-wide-shut/
Q8: What is one of your favorite lines from a poem of yours or others?
Marisa: From my poem “Kristin Kreuk appears in my dream to give me feedback
“She is in the old ship treehouse at Meow Wolf—
the white paper blossoms blind in the pink light.
I have searched for her, wanting to offer my words—
weigh them against a feather—divine the truth.”
Link to the entire piece: https://kristingarth.com/pink-plastic-house-a-tiny-journal/pink-plastic-house-a-dollhouse-of-poetry/tv/kristin-kreuk-appears-in-my-dream-to-give-me-feedback-by-marisa-silva-dunbar/
Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?
Marisa: Who has helped you most with writing? A. E. Copenhaver has provided the most help. She provides constructive criticism, and is always supportive. She challenges me to be a better writer, and I find her work inspiring.