A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Milo Starr Johnson

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

By davidlonan1

David writes poetry, short stories, and writings that'll make you think or laugh, provoking you to examine images in your mind. To submit poetry, photography, art, please send to feversofthemind@gmail.com. Twitter: @davidLOnan1 + @feversof Facebook: DavidLONan1

1 comment

  1. 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.


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