Dorianne Allister Winkler lives tucked away on the rainbow island of Kauai where she has raised one daughter, eleven cats, a cockatiel, a basenji dog and a husband.
Living in the tropics, she is no stranger to the creepy crawlers that she has learned to share an art studio with—from giant geckos and flying cockroaches, to prehistoric cane spiders and centipedes. It is not surprising that she authored a book about a magical millipede who illustrates and writes poetry.
As most of her eager enthusiasts are under four feet tall, Dorianne’s first book Mz Millipede’s PUKEY POETRY is written to each and everyone of them with love, laughter and a creepy crawly touch.
SIX MINUTES WITH DORIANNE ALLISTER WINKLER:
Joining LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author today is Dorianne Allister Winkler, author of Pukey Poetry: Tale Ticklers by Mz Millipede. Being surrounded by creepy crawlers living on the Hawaiian island of Kauai has inspired Dorianne to write about a magical millipede who writes and illustrates poetry. Check out what our student reviewers have to say about this “humorous collection of poetry” – and be sure to check out the video (http://bit.ly/LPPukeyPoetry).
***How did you get started writing?
I have been teaching and working with children on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for the past thirty years—always sharing my stories and artwork with them. I was collecting these tummy ticklers for over a decade before I decided they belonged in a book. Actually, it was the children who came up with the title PUKEY POETRY. They explained that this title would “make kids want to read poetry that makes them laugh!” And I agreed.
***Who influenced you?
Having a father who was an award-winning artist and writer really influenced me. It wasn’t hard to emulate his passionate example. My mother insists I was born with a paintbrush in my hand and an over-the-top imagination, so mostly it is my natural way of expressing myself and relating to the world around me.
***Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I have to be honest and say that I bow down to the works of Shel Silverstein and of course Theodor Seuss Geisel! Both of these poet/illustrators have paved the way for me in my own trajectory regarding the whimsical world of Mz Millipede's magic!
***What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Don't give up! No matter what, and regardless of the outcome, keep creating and sharing your work. Never lose faith in the process.
***Where is your favorite place to write?
I am most fortunate to have my own art studio here in the tropics of Hawaii. I share this sacred space with a multitude of interesting creepy crawlers that keep me company! It is not surprising that my muse and storyteller of the PUKEY POETRY book series is the magical millipede.
***What else would you like to tell us?
A bit more about Mz Millipede—she writes and illustrates these tale ticklers. Mz Milli (as she likes to be called), lives and works underground in her secret blue clubhouse and has done so for hundreds of years! The reader is introduced to her immediately upon opening the book, and it is through her eyes that we meet up with the likes of TOE-JAM SAM, LOLLIPOP PREETA, SKINK THE SKOUSE and many more outrageously fun-filled characters from her travels.
Her website is now posting Mz Millipede’s personal “DIARIES” where she shares how she meets up with the friends from her book. (It helps to have read the poem first, however, so there is more of a background for these characters.) The diary entries are currently available at PUKEYPOETRY.COM where she shares more of her love of laughter. Thanks so much for this interview.
Thanks for joining us, Dorianne (and Mz Millipede). We love that you are making children laugh and showing them how fun poetry can be. May your beautiful island continue to inspire your writing, and we look forward to more fun, silly, and engaging poems.