By Julia Magsombol 

Local Journalism Initiative 

[email protected]

Ktunaxa Two-Spirit poet Smokii Sumac read a poem and offered a writing workshop in the Invermere Public Library on June 17.

“The writing workshop opened with an introduction of Sumac and Sumac’s family growing up here in ?Akisq’nuk territory,” said Blair McFarlane, the library’s community outreach programmer. 

The event, partnered with Columbia Valley Pride, focused on love poems and writing. 

“It was a reflective workshop” said McFarlane. “Sumac had us think beyond who and what we love, to where and when we love as well. It was interesting to think about how we love in those terms.”

In the first part of the workshop, McFarlane said that Sumac read You Are Enough: Love Poems for the End of the World – a book that was actually written and published by the poet. Next, Sumac led the audience through several writing exercises, such as writing haikus. The last activity was all about writing love poems. 

McFarlane said that Sumac led them to write love poems to themselves on their own time, and they hid their finished poems somewhere in their homes or wherever they chose. So, in the future, they will find the poem when it’s supposed to find them when they need it.  “I thought it was a lovely way to close the workshop. [Sumac explained that] we all benefit from loving and supporting ourselves first before we share our love with others.”

McFarlane said the library has many more events planned, but hopes to see Sumac in different workshops again.  

For more information on library events, visit: