Soon to Boise

I'll be leaving Saturday for my usual vacation to Idaho with my son to visit our family in Boise. This year it'll be an abbreviated trip, as we typically will go to Long Beach, Washington for a week. Because he and the cousins are all older, with more obligations for school and work and drivers' education, we'll stay landlocked, with the highlight a stay at my folks cabin in Lowman. It'll be good all the same.

In Boise, my brother has plans for us to go to the BSU bookstore to buy BSU gear--I think that means I'll be getting a hat and/or jersey to don for the Georgia game. My brother has indeed purchased the tickets, and I have bought the plane ticket and made the car reservation, and so it appears that it's a done deal. I will be sure to take the digital camera to Athens, and perhaps will send off a report or two while there.

Also in Boise, I'll be going to the Boise Art Museum, which has an O'Keefe exhibit (it really is a nice, small museum--a gem--and it's where I first had a public reading, when I was in high school and read from a city-wide anthology of creative works by Boise children, 1974 or 75 most likely). Oh, and I'll also drop in at the Literary Log Cabin, a very cool and well run literary center.

One of the reasons I wanted to leave Idaho and the Northwest in 1981 to pursue graduate course work in creative writing and in English was that the writing scene was somewhat provencial (although highly supportive) and insular. Tom Trusky had done great things with cold drill, the BSU literary magazine, and the university, through Charles David Wright, brought in top notch writers, but even when I was just a high schooler, I already knew all the poets in town. Some were dear and talented(Maggie Ward), but others (Alan Minskoff comes to mind) were insufferable posers.

Now, Boise is a much more happenin' place in terms of the poetry scene. I believe Minskoff is still there, but mostly with the growth in the university and broadening of culture in the city itself, the city now boasts an active and far-ranging poetry circuit. Yes, some of the good, long-standing Idaho poets are still about (Rick Ardinger, Bill Studebaker, Bill Wrigley, Margaret Aho, Diane Raptosh), but with the improvement of Ahasahta Press (despite Foetry's slamming it) under Janet Holmes, the founding of the MFA program and the Log Cabin, and the varied small poetry venues--a young poet would not find Boise such a lonesome, isolated place as I did.

Oh, yes, so much nostalgia here, I realize. And it's not that I am a mindless fanatic for all things MFA, but in this case, the program really fits and improves the community.