Buddy Wakefield Interview

20 Jun, 2015 by

Buddy Wakefield Interview

In 2001, Buddy Wakefield traded in his full-time job for the life of a full-time travelling poet. As he puts it, he decided to try to ‘live for a living’. After a few years of touring and honing his craft, Buddy won the individual world poetry slam title, and followed it up the next year, to become the first person to claim back-to-back titles. Buddy works in both the written and spoken spaces, and in addition to poetry events, writers festivals and his own headline shows, he has worked with hip-hop artists and rock stars. His albums have come out on Sage Francis’ Strange Famous label, and more recently on Ani DiFranco’s Righteous Babe record label, and he’s toured with both artists. He’s also published three books, all with Write Bloody, the most recent of which was 2011’s Gentleman Practice.

Buddy’s poetry looks at the human condition: at grief and joy, at love and loss, at tragedy and scars. And it finds a way to make the moments that knock us down seem transient, seem like they could naturally be reborn as triumph. There’s a depth of compassion that defines his work, as well as a great sense of humour.

Buddy Wakefield joined Sky Kirkham at a hotel lobby near the Brisbane Writers’ Festival to talk about nerves, seeking to understand himself, and writing a book on getting backyard chickens. Originally broadcast 20/11/2014.

(photo by Inti St. Clair)

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