Boise's literary scene is continually growing, and it's getting some help from Trans(form)ed Press, a local grassroots press that publishes work by local authors. It's the brainchild of Greg Hoetker, a local teacher and author whose passion for literature and the community birthed Trans(form)ed.
"Trans(form)ed Press emphasizes innovation of literature in all forms, as well as bonds with the local visual art community," said Hoetker. "The Press also has a honed intent on promoting the works of women, people of color and youth, all of whom sometimes have difficulty gaining access within the higher echelons of the 'eliterati.'"
Hoetker is the author of A Leg in Oklahoma City. On Tuesday, Nov. 26, he'll be on hand at Payette Brewing for Trans(form)ed Trilogy, a celebration of publication itself, complete with readings from and conversations with Hoetker, as well as Kam Walters (Yours Mine Mouth) and Cotton Ward (The Double Diamond). There, they'll also be joined by visual artists who provided their cover art—Brooke Foster, Jaimee Johnston and Meredith Todd.
The books being showcased represent different genres and show the scope that Trans(form)ed hopes to offer. Hoetker's novel is historical fiction that reimagines the events surrounding the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City. It focuses on offering alternate answers to the tragedy while pondering how grief shapes our lives.
"How do we unpack all this pain?" asked Hoetker. "How do we ponder those we loved who were so suddenly wiped? What do we do with love and death and pain and God? Why, God? Do we just re-read the 'Book of Job' our entire lives? If closure is a myth, how do we approach something close to healing? These are the questions I attempt to ponder in A Leg in Oklahoma City."
Walter's is a chapbook of poetry that examines "the abject," a concept introduced by literary critic and philosopher Julia Kristeva that describes the human reaction to the disgusting or repulsive aspects of the human body that are also paradoxically compelling to people.
"These are 33 poems I wrote over the course of a year, they are super dark and surreal," said Walters. "I love to take traditionally romantic images and just try to make it gross, a kind of enjoyable macabre."
Ward is from Kuna and has taught at South Junior High in Boise for 36 years. His novel is an Idaho-based Western.
"The Double Diamond is, in part, a ranching book set in the 1980s when microchips replaced cow chips as the true religion of the Idaho country," said Ward. "It is a story about love and loss. Tom Bird is known as 'the fishing cowboy' and has a yen for racehorses."
Transformed press' goal is to promote and publish local authors, growing Boise's literary community though small readings and events. The press prides itself on their ability to focus on the work being published without using agents or corporations.
"The press is about giving local voices a platform and we know so many good writers that just have writing sitting around on their laptops, and there can be a giant wall in front of you to get it published," said Walters. "We welcome writers and artists to reach out to the press, our motto for now is come one come all."