Mercury-Marvin Sunderland (he/him) is a transgender autistic gay man with Borderline Personality Disorder. He’s from Seattle and currently attends the Evergreen State College. He’s been published by University of Amsterdam’s Writer’s Block, UC Davis’ Open Ceilings, UC Riverside’s Santa Ana River Review, UC Santa Barbara’s Spectrum, and The New School’s The Inquisitive Eater. His lifelong dream is to become the most banned author in human history. He’s @RomanGodMercury on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Eckleburg: What captures your interest most in your work, now, as a reader of your work?
Mercury-Marvin Sunderland: I don’t write prose poetry pieces like this much anymore, but what I like about them is that they’re just a collection of thoughts I had for an hour. I first started doing this as an assignment for my screenwriting class and I realized that I really enjoyed it and started doing it more often. My professor told me that what I wrote for that assignment was one of his favorite things that I’d written for that class because it held so much emotion with simple observation of my surroundings. The point of the assignment was to show that I could write a good screen-style setting, so I’m proud of that. What I try to capture with these pieces is mindfulness and meditation combined with observations of nature. Lately, I’ve been submitting my academic essays more for nonfiction, but once I run out of them I think I’ll go back to writing these.
Eckleburg: What are you working on now?
Mercury-Marvin Sunderland: I’ve always been very multimedia — but now that I’m an adult, most of what I do is creative writing and visual arts. I like to write lots of things so I can have more to submit to literary magazines — nonfiction, flash fiction, poetry, comics, etc. However, I would say that my artistic forte is definitely poetry, probably because I end up writing that the most because that’s definitely the form of writing that is always in the highest demand from literary magazines. I’m trying to get more into writing comics lately because I want to work in animation and comics are essential for getting jobs in that field. In November I got to have a meeting with Rebecca Sugar (she/they), the creator of Steven Universe, to discuss my future in animation and she told me that what I need to do is draw fiction comics, print them out and make zines out of them, and then go to lots of cons and trade them around. That was how Sugar themself was hired to work on Adventure Time. So I’m using the pandemic as an opportunity to get started on those comics. Once I graduate undergrad, I’m going to move back to Seattle and get a membership with the Emerald City Comic Con, which will give me tickets to Emerald City, New York Comic Coin, and two other cons every year. That should be plenty of networking per year and I’m very excited about that. It will take at least a few years of that (that’s how it was for Sugar), but it’ll be so much fun.
Eckleburg: Who and what are your artistic influences?
Mercury-Marvin Sunderland: POETRY:
Sappho, Rupi Kaur, Anastacia Renee
Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, Keith Haring
John Cullen (@nellucnhoj on Instagram), Calvin and Hobbes, Bunny Meat (@bunnymeat on Instagram)
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