Mary Pinkoski is the Strathcona County Library’s writer in residence until April.
The Edmonton writer is spending the year travelling to different libraries to run writing workshops and programs. Her stop in Strathcona began in January and will last for four months. After that, she is going to be in Fort Saskatchewan for another two months.
"I have, for the past ten years, tried to really invest in community as I grow my own writing career. So, the honour to be able to work with community and support people's writing is something that's important to me and a place where I thrive," Pinkoski said.
Some of her programs will include graphic novel writing and performing poetry. She even has a couple of award-winning authors like Susie Maloney coming in to run their own workshops.
People can also schedule a meeting with Pinkoski to do individual manuscript consultations.
"I think the goal would be, in each location, I'm able to bring people together to write and to celebrate their writing," she explained.
Pinkoski started her career in 2004, when she was first introduced to poetry slam while doing an internship for Canadian Studies in Missouri. Poetry slam is a competition where poets perform spoken word poetry. Pinkoski began performing once she got back to Canada and even went to a national poetry competition in 2011, where she became that year's Canadian Slam Champion.
In 2013, she was chosen to be the Poet Laureate for Edmonton, a position chosen by the mayor and a selection committee to be the poet representative for the city. The position lasts two years.
Around the end of her term in 2015, she was recognized as an Edmonton Top 40 Under 40.
"For me, writing has always been a way to tell stories and experiences that are important to me," she added. "I think just the tool of writing allows us to express ourselves, to express our lived experience and then to share."
The library is currently located in the Baseline Village shopping complex at 100 Broadview Drive.