A conversation With Buddy Wakefield
José Antonio Simón
Buddy Wakefield is coming back to Texas to teach a workshop at Literal Magazine on Saturday. We had an opportunity to talk to him.
This film explores the influence one’s origins have on our personhood. Can you talk about what makes up a person, the extent to which you find we are nurtured and how much we have within our nature?
The influence of our origins. The extent of nurture. How much we have in our nature.
You’re basically giving me until Wednesday to explain the resulting circumstantial internal/external components of an individual’s life, the origins of which are so mind-blowing in scope that there are entire sections of libraries dedicated to each part of this question. I couldn’t, in good conscience, attempt to offer a worthy answer. At least not by Wednesday.
Your family obviously stands in the center of the poem, do you know what their thoughts were when they first heard it? Did they enjoy being in the film?
They enjoyed being in the film. They support the poem. I don’t necessarily know all their thoughts on it. My family has been tremendously generous and hands-off in letting me unpack my life experiences publicly as a writer, even when it includes them. They’ve allowed me to express and use my voice without sweating me for how aggressively I’ve done so. Everyone mentioned in the poem Farmly deserves praise for not asking me to adjust my experience to make us look better than how it actually played out from my perspective. They’ve allowed me to stare shame in the face without interrupting me. When you stare shame in the face it scurries away.
The film has an immense undertone of the importance of vulnerability and emotional wellness in our culture. You rooted the poem in the South but, do you think it could be said about the entire country?
Vulnerability is responsible for every movie ever made, every song ever sung, and every poem that plugged a life back into itself. It’s the gateway word to *thank you* and *I’m sorry.*
It could be said about the entire world.
Posted: May 28, 2019 at 11:17 pm