Storyfort showcases the skilled writing of Boise State students

Elise Ledesma | The Arbiter

Many might know Treefort as the biggest music festival in the Treasure Valley. However, Treefort is much more than a music festival. 

At Treefort, all of Boise’s culture and talents are showcased. Artists, writers, musical groups, dancers, filmmakers and so many more are exhibited throughout the entirety of downtown Boise during the festival.

Storyfort is one of the many interesting “forts” that Treefort has to offer, where authors, poets, journalists, memoirists and storytellers share their written works with the public. 

On Thursday, March 23, Storyfort featured “Undergrad Reading: An Emerging Writers Showcase,” which exhibited the extraordinary talents of Boise State student writers. 

Nine emerging authors from Boise State participated in Storyfort. Each student read a piece of writing aloud, and genres in the fort included poetry, fiction, personal essays and short stories. 

Leo Perry, a junior studying interdisciplinary studies, shared a piece he called “Dead On Arrival.”  

In this brief essay, Perry draws on death imagery to describe painful experiences in his life and ultimately coming to terms with his identity, writing, “For once this is not a death, this is a rebirth.”

[The Idaho State Museum, venue for “Undergrad Reading: An Emerging Writers Showcase.”]
Elise Ledesma | The Arbiter

“That piece was inspired by a lot of different traumas in my life,” Perry said. “This was a way to connect them in a meaningful way and to show these overarching themes throughout my life that I picked up on.” 

Perry also shares his ambitions to publish “Dead on Arrival” as its own anthology. 

Senior creative writing major Emmy Parton contrasts Perry’s harrowing coming-of-age essay with humorous, sexually-themed and romantic poems. At her eighth Treefort, Parton read four poems with these themes. 

Her last humorous poem, titled “A Eulogy for Leftovers,” was all about how she had finally learned her lesson about not wasting food and made the decision to let her dog devour a leftover pizza. 

Even after reading all four poems aloud, Parton found it difficult to choose a favorite piece because she considered them all to be like her children. She did share that the poem “Who Put Bella in the Wych Elm?” is the one she credits with transforming her into a poet. 

As Parton gushed about her poem, she gave insight on the historical tale that inspired it: a supernatural cold case from the 1940s where young boys ran after a rabbit into a field where they discovered a corpse in a tree. 

“It’s kind of like a sing-song, dark fairytale-like, rhyming poem,” Parton said. 

Paris Thompson, a senior majoring in environmental studies, shared thoughts on his environmental western fiction piece, which contrasts the illustrative poems from Parton and the heartbreaking coming-of-age essay from Perry. 

Thompson comments about the nonfiction piece he’s currently writing, titled “Coyote Haun,” from which he read an excerpt.

“It’s kind of a culmination of conversations I’ve had in the environmental studies program, about environmentalism and the social side of it,” Thompson said. 

Thompson elaborates on how “Desert Solitaire,” a book written by an old park ranger from Archer’s National Park named Edward Abbey, played a significant role in shaping the modern environmental movement and loosely inspired his piece, “Coyote Haun.” 

The undergraduate students at Boise State who participated in Storyfort had an excellent opportunity to showcase their best written work to the community.

Storyfort was a showcase for exceptional skill. Where these up-and-coming authors go and what they produce in the next few years will be fascinating to follow.

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