This conversation between James D. Autio and b: william bearhart touches on topics of being Native American poets, the role of self-identity in creative work, childhood experiences with racism, and the importance of getting the work done. Autio suggested various topics as the potential starting point for a conversation, most of which were on somewhat stereotypical “Native” themes. bearhart mentioned that one day he feels one way and then feels something different at another time.
James D. Autio: It’s funny you mention your changing feelings. Right after I wrote my last message, I had some second thoughts about the topics I mentioned. I wondered if I came up with the ideas because they’re the sorts of things one might expect from a conversation between Native American poets. They are things I think about at times, but only as small pieces of a much larger picture: my interests in poetry and art, my drive to create, my political and social beliefs, my questions about spirituality, my desire to give my life more meaning.