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Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine

Skinny Dip with Margarita Engle

Margarita Engle

Our current Young People’s Poet Laureate, Margarita Engle has written about the land, the life, and the heroes of Cuba, along with verse novels, picture books, and biographies of heroes the world over.  

What is your favorite daydream?

I love to dream of instant travel, like the “beam me up” gadget in old Star Trek episodes. There are so many places I want to see, and so many people I want to visit more often, especially relatives in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and Cuba. I would also love to visit my daughter’s in-laws in Nepal, but without an exhausting 30-hour flight that includes long layovers in airports. As long as we’re daydreaming, let’s throw in a bit of time travel, too!

What’s your favorite part of starting a new project?

First drafts are heaven. Just a pen and paper, quiet surroundings, daydreams, and hope. Anything is possible. (Revisions and later drafts are hard work!)

When are you your most creative?

I’m definitely a morning person. I love to write as early as possible. Anything that isn’t done by noon won’t be done until tomorrow. Afternoons are for research, and evenings are for reading.

Favorite flavor of ice cream?

Ever since I was little, I’ve always preferred coffee ice cream, the stronger the better. If my mother bought any other flavor, I poured some coffee over it and stirred.

What’s your hidden talent?

I’m an expert at hiding in the forest, so that wilderness search and rescue dogs can practice finding a “lost” hiker. My husband trains our dog, and along with other canine teams, they go on real searches when someone really gets lost. Dogs don’t listen to me, and I have no sense of direction, so I’m much better as a volunteer “victim.”

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