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Treefort Festival Diary – Coveteur: Inside Closets, Fashion, Beauty, Health, and Travel

Treefort Festival Diary – Coveteur: Inside Closets, Fashion, Beauty, Health, and Travel


When my finest pal Erin Satterthwaite and I based the literary studying collection Automotive Crash Collective, we hoped that it will take us to some loopy locations. By no means in our wildest goals did we think about a type of locations can be Boise, Idaho—residence to Treefort, a pageant that’s been dubbed “the SXSW of the North.” Not solely does the fest boast a lineup of musical performers, however the programming additionally contains movie screenings, lectures, and even yoga classes.

Erin and I have been invited to host a poetry and prose showcase as a part of “Storyfort,” the pageant’s division for writers. What follows is a breakdown of our three days on the town, plus photographic proof of our odyssey by Arts and Tradition.


10:00 a.m.: Erin and I have been fortunate sufficient to snag the identical row on this flight. We really feel like two youngsters behind a faculty bus on the best way to summer season camp—partially as a result of we’re giddy with pleasure, partially as a result of the flight attendant is main us all in a call-and-response clapping train.

11:03 a.m.: The identical flight attendant has us all sing “Joyful Birthday” to his colleague. She insists that it’s not her birthday.

11:22 a.m.: I ask Erin to open my boxed water for me. She obliges.

1:39 p.m.: We contact down in Boise! A textual content from Sam lights up our telephones: Treefort intern Max Schwartz is exterior to select us up. We slide into the backseat and discover ourselves within the firm of two literary icons. Megan Nolan, creator of mega-acclaimed novels Acts of Desperation and Abnormal Human Failings, sits within the passenger seat. Beside us within the again is Christoph Paul, the mastermind behind indie press Conflict Books. Conflict has been on my radar for some time; they publish books I can tear by in a single sitting, books that may be described as Lynchian, Cronenbergian, and even Arakian. Erin and I gush about Earth Angel, Conflict’s quick story assortment by Madeline Money (co-founder of NY-based lit magazine Ceaselessly).

Max is glad to play the a part of tour information. He introduces us to the chain eating places we haven’t seen earlier than (“What’s Dutch Bros?”), regales us with tales of Idaho potato kingpins (“Simplot household controls all of the potatoes,” I jot down in my Notes app), and offers us the lowdown on native classic procuring.

2:00 p.m.: Our lodge is within the coronary heart of Boise. The neighborhood has a welcoming school city really feel: every part is walkable, and cute ice cream parlors, retailers, and dive bars will be noticed on every block.

3:37 p.m.: After taking a breather, we sprint over to Ochos, the wine bar that can grow to be our middle of operations for the following few days. We slip into the upstairs ballroom simply in time to look at Michelle Lyn King of Joyland and Jillian Luft of X-Ray, two of my favourite lit mags, discussing their protocol for submissions. Jillian notes {that a} good story ought to really feel like “a skeleton hand clutching my coronary heart and massaging my mind on the identical time.” I couldn’t have put it higher myself.

Earlier than we duck out for dinner, we spot Anika Levy, the opposite Ceaselessly Magazine co-founder. Three years in the past, once I was roaming across the East Village throughout a Massive Apple stint, I wandered into KGB Bar and located myself on the journal’s launch occasion. Simply out of Catholic college and recreationally rocking the pleated skirt look, I used to be reeled in by the Ceaselessly ladies’ use of spiritual imagery: they even carried out the signal of the cross earlier than introducing themselves, a post-ironic gesture that affirmed the literary studying as a sacred house. Through the years, I got here to admire Madeline and Anika’s curation—they snapped up everybody from Eileen Myles to Allie Rowbottom for his or her shiny, immaculately designed print points. Since Erin and I began Automotive Crash, we’ve developed a digital friendship with Anika—and now we’re assembly her within the flesh for the primary time. We greet one another with a spherical of huge hugs.

One other acquainted face is Sam Berman—not solely a superb author however the man who organized this complete shindig. I’ve seen him in lit mags, in my e-mail inbox, and on Zoom conferences, however by no means three-dimensionally. “You’re actual!” I name out.

4:45 p.m.: Erin and I debate eating choices till we land on a solution—the Artists’ Lounge, duh. After we get our all-access wristbands, we load up our plates with meals from catering and discover the house. A shelf is stacked with free books from Rediscovered, the native bookshop. We seize two titles on feminine obsession—The Ladies by Emma Cline (loosely primarily based on the Manson murders) and Massive Swiss by Jen Beagin (a couple of fascination with a gynecologist, quickly to be tailored into an A24 collection).

Erin Satterthwaite posing exterior the artists’ lounge

6:30 p.m.: It’s again to Ochos for the primary massive literary studying of the weekend, hosted by Anika. Highlights embody Jon Lindsey (co-founder of Money for Gold and creator of quintessential LA alt-lit novel Physique Excessive) reflecting on a long-ago journey to jail, and Ben Fama (EIC of Marvel Press and patron saint of New York poets) ruminating on the writings of Christian mystic Simone Veil. “Sick of the discourse, sick of the vibe,” he repeats—a modern-day prayer.

10:17 p.m.: After exploring the pageant grounds (for some cause, there’s a larger-than-life statue of Abraham Lincoln by the stage), we mosey over to Soiled Little Roddy’s, the most well liked dive bar in Boise. A Western-themed mural—perfect for iPhone photoshoots—reads, “Roddy’s made me do it.” Cages and poles—free actual property for enthusiastic patrons—flank the stage, the place a DJ spins an array of 2010s hits (together with David Guetta’s “Horny Bitch” and Pitbull’s “Timber”). A mechanical bull bucks and brays within the middle of all of it. I do know I’m about to have the time of my life.

Everybody from Storyfort is right here—everybody says they’ll give Roddy a spin (is the bull the eponymous Soiled Little Roddy? I assume the bull is Roddy.)

Anika Levy with a bonafide bull rider at Roddy’s.


10:30 a.m.: The easiest way to recuperate from a wild bull journey? Yoga. Erin and I sprint over to Yogafort for Harmonic Stream, a session with RN and yogi Erika Hill and sound healer Emily Clark. Soothing tones play as we shift from warrior pose into downward canine. I really feel whisked away to a different planet—the one indication that I’m at a pageant is the band round my wrist.

12:02 p.m.: For breakfast, we be a part of Ben and Taylor Lewandowski (journalist and proprietor of Dream Palace Books in Indianapolis) in sampling the spuds at Moon Kitchen, a cute cafe nestled in a shopping mall. The blokes have a panel proper after this, and I couldn’t be extra excited. You’d be hard-pressed to discover a extra sobering examination of public tragedy and superstar tradition than Ben’s debut novel, If I Shut My Eyes—it begins with a mass taking pictures at a Kim Kardashian e-book signing and doesn’t let up from there.

2:00 p.m.: By some means, Erin and I wheedle our approach into moderating. We focus on how superstar adoration can really feel non secular, in a way—in spite of everything, isn’t fandom about devoting your self to a far-off perfect that can by no means be totally knowable?

2:53 p.m.: After the panel, we slip out with Anika to take a look at No New, Boise’s go-to classic store. There’s no recycled Shein or Princess Polly in sight—every part here’s a superbly constructed Twentieth-century treasure. Highlights embody a knit “Joyful New 12 months 2000” sweater that takes “Y2K” to the following degree, a rack of Gunne Sax, and a lacy social gathering costume that jogs my memory of what Samantha Parkington (my favourite American Woman Doll) wore for Christmas. It’s onerous to not take every part residence, however I solely have a lot room in my carry-on.

3:30 p.m.: We sprint again to Ochos for a panel on small presses, with Christoph representing Conflict and Jon, Nathan Dragon, and Harris Lahti representing Money for Gold. A scorching matter is the forthcoming C4G launch Sillyboy—the debut novel by cult filmmaker and actor Peter Vack. I eagerly snatch up an ARC, which boasts a picture of the purple Care Bear (“Candy Goals Bear,” a Google search reveals) on the duvet. The goofy placeholder design is successful. Apparently, a replica went for $250 on eBay, proving the dedication of Peter’s following.

6:30 p.m.: Erin and I are internet hosting tonight’s studying. We’ve received some heavy hitters on deck, together with Bud Smith (creator of the Badlands-esque Teenager) and Halle Hill (whose Good Ladies was named a 2023 Greatest E book of the 12 months by Kirkus Opinions). I’m particularly keen on a narrative by Kyle Seibel (a fixture on my Twitter feed) a couple of home with a curler coaster subsequent door. Pseudonymous poet and efficiency artist Lily Woman, sporting a bomber jacket that boasts their chosen final title (remarkably, it’s not a customized—they thrifted it), concludes the night time by main the viewers in Mad Libs.

Ben Fama and Lily Woman chilling after the studying

10:30 p.m.: We migrate to Neurolux to see Canadian artist Marci, who describes herself on Insta because the “tallest lady in showbiz”—and does certainly have a mannequin’s top. We shimmy to the entrance of the group and drop our baggage off by the stage so we are able to dance. Jazzy, ’80s-influenced bop “Immaterial Woman” will get an particularly massive response. As we twirl round, we wave to our pal Josh Da Costa, who’s banging the drums.

12:05 a.m.: Generally the best “afters” is stepping exterior with the people who smoke. We meet up with Josh, who additionally performs with Drugdealer and CMON and has an NTS Radio Present. He introduces us to Al Robinson, guitarist for Nabihah Iqbal and fellow NTS DJ. Al hails from Manchester. He lets us in on some native lore: apparently Paul Ryder of the Joyful Mondays actually beloved going to T.Ok. Maxx.

Josh Da Costa and Al Robinson having a smokE


10:30 a.m.: Saturday kicks off with a really particular go to to Rediscovered Books—for my first e-book signing! I’m sharing a desk with Parker Willis Younger, whose assortment bears the unforgettable title Low-cost Therapist Says You’re Insane.

11:30 a.m.: Parker and I head again to Ochos to affix Anika and Money Compson (creator of laugh-out-loud humorous poetry assortment Individuals Scare Me) for the first-time creator’s panel. Of all our books, Anika’s debut novel Flat Earth is the one one which hasn’t but been launched. I learn in Publishers Weekly that it follows a younger lady who’s jealous of her finest pal’s inventive success. Right here, Anika shares some additional information—the novel may even take care of the predicament of fogeys who fall into conspiracy theories. She provides that she needed the duvet to be a photograph of her and Madeline Money recreating the well-known picture of a nude Eve Babitz enjoying chess with a clothed Marcel Duchamp, however her writer rejected the concept. A lady can dream…

1:15 PM: Erin and I sprint off to the Idaho Movie Society—a comfy theater tucked away in a transformed Greyhound station—for the screening of Sam’s World, Lily’s first characteristic movie. Lily’s a real auteur—they wrote, directed, and stars on this coming-of-age story. Watching their character, Sam, chat together with her associates at a diner, I really feel like I’m eavesdropping on an actual dialog, to the purpose that I’m impressed to ask Lily through the Q&A how a lot of the dialogue was improvised. The reply—none, surprisingly, leaving me in awe of their naturalistic writing type. Apparently, Lily’s subsequent movie will drop the identical character into suburban Massachusetts with a completely totally different milieu. Why ought to the alternate universe framework be restricted to the motion and sci-fi genres? they argue. I’ve to agree.

3:23 p.m.: Lily, Erin, and I discover the native tradition by testing the Boise Artwork Museum. We’re instantly drawn to Indigenous artist RYAN! Fedderson’s Coyote Now, a mural that imagines the prototypical trickster-hero Coyote in quite a lot of modern-day conditions, from typing at a laptop computer to getting fired for sleeping on the job. The set up is interactive—museum patrons can seize crayons to fill within the line drawing with colours and patterns. We add our personal shades and swirls to the dwelling paintings.

6:09 p.m.: We return to our beloved Greyhound station for… a bunch picture! After arranging ourselves by top and, after all, posing for a “foolish one,” we sprint off to the meals corridor, The Warehouse, for treats. We push two tables collectively, making one. Once more, the summer season camp vibes are robust.

9:07 p.m.: All weekend, we’ve been listening to in regards to the pool at Anika’s lodge, which supposedly comprises “water options.” All of us head over to test it out. The sight of so lots of my favourite authors and editors splashing round like youngsters is surreal, however certainly stranger issues have occurred in literary historical past. In fact, we duck underneath the enormous mushroom, mess around within the waterfall, and pose for pics by the plastic palm tree.

Anika Levy, Shy Watson, and Taylor Lewandowski having fun with the water options

11:44 p.m.: On the finish of the night time, all roads result in Roddy’s—not less than for me, Erin, Anika, Shy Watson (creator of poetry assortment Horror Vacui and @formermissNJ on Insta—I consider it), and Taylor. After a go at Chekhov’s Take a look at Your Energy Machine (all bars ought to have a contraption with blinking lights that patrons are invited to defeat in an effort to win a tech system from the 12 months 2010), it’s time for us to hit the dance flooring. This time, we’re not listening to any Akon or Kesha—seems we’ve walked into nation night time.

We marvel aloud if the DJ would spearhead a four-minute indie sleaze revival by enjoying The Dare—first as a joke, then critically. I persuade him by slipping him a $10 invoice and telling him that it’s Erin’s birthday. “Erin, this one’s for you!” he calls out because the opening notes of “Intercourse” resound. A lot to our chagrin, perhaps eight folks stroll off the dancefloor… but it surely’s crowded once more when “Cotton Eyed Joe” performs. There’s no choice however to get into formation and kick up our heels—the right closing scene. When in Boise…


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