Kamloops woman uses pandemic to write book of poetry about Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops woman uses pandemic to write book of poetry about Kamloops

Carla Kluss having fun with her three sons at a park in Kamloops. Kluss was raised in Kamloops and is raising her family here.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Earth Walk Photography
May 29, 2021 - 6:30 AM

Kamloops resident Carla Kluss has spent her time in COVID isolation making one of her dreams come true.

She has written her first book of poetry to be published by Friesen Press. The poems depict the history of Kamloops and include contributions by those who have grown up in the small city. The writing project began when her friend started a community Facebook page called Living and Growing Up in Kamloops. The group grew quickly. Kluss felt inspired by the memories people were sharing.

“People’s posts were reminding me of all my experiences with friends and family growing up in Kamloops,” Kluss said. “I began writing Haiku poems about Kamloops and the noteworthy events and experiences I had been a part of. There are poems about The Cattle Drive, The Kamloops Rube Band, The MacDonnell’s, Kami the Gunslinging Fish and more.”

As she wrote, Kluss realized she needed to be accurate with names, dates and locations. She began messaging people for assistance. She says the response she received was incredible.

“People were offering personal photos of things they had done or been a part of,” said Kluss. “For example, Tim Francis, our renowned local artist, sent me his bio and some images of his artwork. David Pup Johnson has been involved with the project and submitted some wonderful photos of The Blue Grotto. It became pretty clear that I would need to up my game and not only include the photos I was receiving, but also write an introductory page for each section describing the historic relevance of the poems.”

'Song Sparrow on a Sakura branch', art by Carla Kluss. This artwork might be the cover of Kluss's new book, 'Kamloops Is Poetry'. The song sparrow is local to Kamloops.
'Song Sparrow on a Sakura branch', art by Carla Kluss. This artwork might be the cover of Kluss's new book, 'Kamloops Is Poetry'. The song sparrow is local to Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Carla Kluss

Kluss has been writing Haiku poetry for more than two decades. In her twenties, she lived in Japan for five years fulfilling a modelling contract. During this time, she started writing Haikus.

“I fell in love the people and their culture,” said Kluss. “Haiku is a beautifully descriptive prose meant to be said in one breath. It is typically three lines and seventeen syllables that go like this, 5-7-5. There are other forms, but most importantly the lines have to be three mini sentences or thoughts that can each stand on its own. One of the lines must differ in context from the other two and contain a seasonal word.”  
 
The title of the book is Kamloops Is Poetry. Kluss will be donating a portion of the book sale proceeds to help others. She is known in the community for the work she has been doing through her group Caring Hands for Kamloops that was launched in 2015. Her group has made care packages for people living on the street, ran events called Jeans for Teens and collected clothes for displaced youth.

“This book can help support others and keep people connected,” Kluss said. “And if people can read about our cool city I know they will want to come visit when restrictions lift. Tourism is at the heart of our town and I hope in some small way I can help Kamloops bounce back.”

Kluss goes by the pen name ‘Marquess De Catnip’ and can be found on Instagram and Facebook. She says she has enough poems to write a second book and is considering this future possibility.


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