Q1: When did you start writing and whom have influenced you?
Milo: I started writing poetry in junior high. Ginsberg and Yeats have been profound poetry influences. But for most of my life I’ve been a dramatist and solo performer, so other writers worth mentioning would be Shakespeare, Lenny Bruce, Harold Pinter,
Hunter S. Thompson, and Spalding Gray.
Q2: Any Pivotal Moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Milo: I never wanted to be a writer, because that was my mother's dream for herself. I wanted to be a film director, and decided to write screenplays to that end. But as I learned that craft and began to tell personal stories. I found that I had a lot to say, and that I loved words and language. I had a theater background, so I began to write, produce, and perform my own work in my 30's. Q3: Who has helped you most with your writing and career? Milo: My audience. Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work? Milo: Growing up in the 60's and 70's in the San Francisco Bay area, I was very much influenced by the Beats and hippies, free speech and free love, psychedelic music, experimental art, the anti-war movement and environmentalism. I became a radical thinker early on. Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you? Milo: My most recent work, the surreal, poetic audio drama Miss Experience White means a lot to me. I'd wanted to write about my family and ancestors from a political perspective for a long time. It was satisfying to merge that with channeling my angst about America's current political mess. Q6: Favorite activities to relax? Milo: Being in nature. Watching the waves breaking. Q7: What is a favorite line/stanza/lyric from your writing? Milo: The very last line in Miss Experience White. I knew what I wanted it to be early on. There was a phase of writing where I was (metaphorically speaking) using anvils, pickaxes, and crowbars to get that line to work properly. And it does! Q8: What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always comes back to you as an inspiration? Milo: Since I write music this requires 2 answers. If I’m in literary mode, writing poetry or drama, I do not want to hear any words. I love Brian Eno’s ambient music. I never get tired of “An Ending (Ascent)” from Apollo - Atmospheres and Soundtracks. Now, if I’m in music mode, I’ll tend to listen to old R&B. It’s grounded and truthful. Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, projects that you would like to promote? Milo: Miss Experience White is a surreal, poetic audio drama about white privilege, produced as a three-part podcast. With immersive sound design, indie rock/pop and americana music, dark humor, and hope for the future. Four out of 5 stars on Apple Podcasts. https://www.milostarrjohnson.com/missexperiencewhite/1 Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you'd like to share during your creative journey? Milo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M0kuFFLsHA I was writing one of my first songs. (I started music late, in my 40’s.) I was walking in my neighborhood and the melody for the second half of the verse came to me. But I didn’t have any recording device with me! I tried to keep it in mind but got distracted running errands and lost it. So I went back to the exact same street corner and stood around, humming, until it came back. Then I didn’t stop humming it until I got home. The song is called Look Away.
Milo Starr Johnson is a multi-disciplinary performing artist in San Francisco. She is apoet, singer, storyteller, songwriter, playwright, actor, and producer. Her most recentwork is Miss Experience White, a surreal, poetic audio drama about white privilege,
produced as a three-part podcast. “I write to perform, and I perform to deliver a message,which usually has something to do with change.” Learn more at
Great to hear about your creative process, Milo. You are one of the people I most remember back from Redwood in the Quad. That group of people gave me my first place to separate from my home family and become more of who I am now. You can’t believe how important it was since I was not honored or supported by those I lived with at the time. Keep creating! Keep playing! I’m still playing music and using the same trumpet you remember from all those many years ago.