A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Scott Cumming

with Scott Cumming:

Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?

Scott: My first writings would have been in my teen years with what I called lyrics, but since I’ve never been able to play an instrument it might be more accurate to call them poems with choruses.

I was influenced by the music I listened to through the years starting with Oasis and the Manic Street Preachers before getting more lovelorn and aping the likes of Weezer, Ed Harcourt and Ash.

Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?

Scott: Shawn Berman is the other as he has taught me to embrace my light, silly side in my writing through his work and his site, The Daily Drunk. I’ve had a lot of stuff published there throughout this year and I’ve had an immense amount of fun doing it.

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

Scott: I grew up in the Bridge of Don in Aberdeen, which has the distinction of being the largest suburb in Europe. We lived on the outer edges of it and there was room to explore the surrounding countryside.

Subconsciously it is there in my writing as when I think of places the image will often come from a place I remember from when I was young. The place truly was a collision of rural and urban spaces.

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


LCD are Sitting Next to Us at the After-Party (dailydrunkmag.com)

This poem is about a great night I had with a friend who has recently passed. I’ve written a few others that will appear in my forthcoming chapbook. 

Poetry has helped me to process my feelings about his death and made me confident enough to reach out to people I hadn’t spoken to in some time and clear the air about things either real or imagined.

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

Scott: There really isn’t. 

I was never someone who had the confidence before and always thought I wasn’t good enough to write or create. You see all sorts of people with their PhDs and MFAs and I’m just a guy who didn’t realise the value of education until too late.

Now I have the confidence, if not the belief, that I can write whatever I want and even if it only finds an audience of one, it’s the doing it that matters.

Q6: Favorite activities to relax?

Scott: Recently I’ve been playing the Nintendo Switch we got for our seven year old’s birthday a lot to destress.

As well as that I obviously love to read and have been keeping up to date with the latest stuff from B F Jones, James Lilley and Andrew Davie among others.

In the past few months, I’ve taken to filming myself reading poems that have particularly impressed me and posting them on Twitter.

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

Scott: My chapbook, “A Chapbook About Nothing”, will be released on the last day of 2021. It is so called because of its complete lack of theme and the duelling, possibly jarring nature of my crime/dark poems against my light, pop culture fare.

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


“I remember when we had nothing, but

allergy medicine spiked into each of our legs
licking the drip of epinephrene blood from your thigh”

This line is from a poem I had published at The Five-Two (The Five-Two: Scott Cumming (poemsoncrime.blogspot.com)), which is among the favourite things I’ve written thus far and perhaps the darkest thing I’ve written.

Q9: Who has helped you most with writing?

Scott: Stephen J. Golds, B F Jones, Max Thrax, James Lilley are probably the main ones. They’ve each taught me something that has become integral to how I continue to write. It can sometimes be a lonely furrow and I’ve been able to rely on them to pull me through at times.


New Poem by Scott Cumming : Magical Realism vs Middle Earth

2 poems by Scott Cumming : “The Layer Between Us” & “Ear Worn”

Poetry by Scott Cumming : the Daily Battle & To Be Written Upon Waking

Twitter: @tummidge





Bio: Scott Cumming unsuspectingly went to see Garden State wearing his Shins tee. He has been published at The Daily Drunk, Punk Noir Magazine, Versification, Mystery Tribune and Shotgun Honey. His poem, “Blood on Snow”, was voted the best of Outcast Press Poetry Things We Carry issue and nominated for a Pushcart. His collection, A Chapbook About Nothing, was released in December as part of Close to the Bone’s First Cut series. Twitter: @tummidge Website: https://scottcummingwriter.wordpress.com/

A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Marisa Silva-Dunbar

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.

Bio: Marisa Silva-Dunbar’s work has been published in ArLiJo, Chanterelle’s Notebook, Pink Plastic House, Sledgehammer Lit, Analogies & Allegories Literary Magazine. She has work forthcoming in The Bitchin’ Kitsch. Her second chapbook, “When Goddesses Wake,” was released in December, 2021 from Maverick Duck Press. Her first full-length collection, “Allison,” was recently published by Querencia Press. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @thesweetmaris. To check out more of her work go to http://www.marisasilvadunbar.com

Twitter: @thesweetmaris