Hyde Park Books was so packed with people Thursday night that its AC unit was unable to keep up, leaving some to seek refuge from the heat outside, of all places. The crowd had come to hear readings from six local writers, all of whom are featured in the debut issue of The Boisean, a new literary magazine launched by local collective Barn Owl Records and helmed by local bartender Joshua Hale.
"We really want to start bringing in different forms of media," said Jay Saenz, a Barn Owl co-founder. "We're already working with a few visual artists to help them promote themselves. We want to start building a community of creative people and then encourage others to start doing the same thing we are."
Saenz said that The Boisean will be the literary wing of Barn Owl, and that it's not too different from helping bands promote their music online. It's still online media management and promotion, just a different form of it.
The magazine will be published as an online quarterly and feature approximately six authors or poets per issue, a number subject to submissions. Hale also said the magazine will focus as much on the author as it will on the work by including things like extended bios, suggested reading lists and more. It will be available as a downloadable PDF and through online publication service Issuu. Hale said there may one day be a physical version, but for now, it will remain entirely online.
The seeds of Hale's ideas have deep roots. He tried to launch a magazine before, but wasn't able to get it all together.
"I've been trying to do this for three years," said Hale. "I finally just decided to do it myself with the help of Jay and Barn Owl Records."
"That's what we do at Barn Owl," added Saenz. "We make things possible for people. It's amazing what a difference it makes just to tell someone you believe in them."
The Boisean joins Gem Magazine as the second literary magazine launched in Boise this year. Gem Magazine plans to publish its next issue in October.