It is fitting that Prairie Fire pay tribute to Gloe Cormie, who died July 14. Gloe was an active member of Manitoba’s writing community for many years. She was particularly proud of having her poetry published in Prairie Fire and she enjoyed attending PF’s fundraiser at Fort Gibraltar every May.
Gloe served on the Manitoba Writers’ Guild board, represented the League of Canadian Poets, and conducted workshops through Artists in the Schools. Even during rounds of chemotherapy she continued to support the Writers’ Guild by assisting at its In Dialogue series.
I knew Gloe for twenty years and was privileged to be with her this summer when she faced the difficult truth that chemo was no longer working. When she first went into hospital, she said “no visitors.” Then, with the help of her partner Jon Krocker and her sister Suzanne Cormie, she decided to reverse that policy. Her friends came to spend time with her and she was very grateful. “Why did I never realize how important my friends were before?” she said one day.
These were very special days, nothing was off limits, and everything non-essential and trivial fell away. Gloe, who usually guarded her privacy, gave it up so gracefully, so generously. She had always been a seeker. Even at the end of her life she was learning new things.
– Faith Johnston