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© 2019 Idaho Botanical Garden

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Bloom : A Summer Reading Series

Saturday, June 27th 2020 • 12:00pm - 2:00pm

We’ve partnered with the folks behind Storyfort to bring you a safely-distanced reading series this June through August. This story series reflects an array of themes from fiction writers, poets, creative nonfiction writers, and even a writer who is penning a “folk rock opera” (which should be awesome!) at the Idaho Botanical Garden on Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

The series will take place in our Meditation Garden and the shady, expansive green area that surrounds it. Bring your own low-back chairs or blanket. 

Bring your own low-back chairs or blanket. At this time, we will not have vendors at this event. Visitors are welcome to bring in their own food and beverages.

Please help us keep the garden clean by packing in and packing out your picnic!

Attendance will limited to these events, which will very easily allow artists and attendees 6′ – 10′ between themselves and others. Please be mindful of other guests and practice social-distancing at all times. Face masks will not be required but are encouraged for your safety and the safety of others. All PA and event equipment will be sanitized regularly.


2020 Schedule:

Date & Time Artists 
June 27, 12:30-2:00 Joel Wayne, Heidi Kraay, K Lange
July 11, 12:30-2:00 Leta Marie Harris Neustaedter, Hannah Rodabaugh, Joplin Morgan
July 25, 12:30-2:00 Grace Ward, Susan Bruns Rowe, Ben Chappel
July 28 – 5:30-7:00 (Canceled)  Shriram Sivaramakrishnan, Amy Pence-Brown
Artists rescheduled below 
August 1, 12:30-2:00 Shriram S, Daphne Stanford, Jodeen Revere
August 11 – 5:30-7:00 Amy Pence-Brown, Lily Yasuda, Russell Wilson


Tuesday evening events are $10 for the public/$7 for IBG members
Saturday events are the cost of IBG admission
Members: Free
Adults: $8
Seniors (65+): $6
Youth 4-12: $5
Kids 3 & under: Free

Get Your Tickets Here!

Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance. 

About CCC Fund

The collaborative effort of the COVID Cultural Commissioning (CCC) Fund, a partnership organized by Treefort Music Fest, the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, and the Boise City Department of Arts & History, was initiated April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact socially and economically to the creative sector of the Treasure Valley. Local cultural leaders came together to outline a mission and goals for funding creative projects and solicited funds from both major organizations and private individual donors.

Learn more about the CCC here! 

Support the Artists 

We will be accepting cash donations at the events to support the local artist, Storyfort, and the Idaho Botanical Garden.

Artist Bios

Russell Wilson

Russell is a 29 year old mess. Her recent accomplishments include writing letters to the moon, calling her mother, and taking every piece of advice she’s received from a Yogi tea bag to heart. She is grateful everyday to be writing.


Joplin Morgan

Joplin Morgan is a learner, teacher and poet from Boise, Idaho. They love leafy greens, fine whisky, and goblins of all kinds.
Joplin’s work has been published in literary magazines Rabbit Catastrophe, Hot Metal Bridge and others.
Everything they write is a circle.


K Lange

K Lange is a writer, teacher, and UFO seeker from Boise, ID. Their work has appeared on stages across the nation including the Treefort Music Festival, Helicon West, Ghosts and Projectors and the National poetry slam. Their work can also be found in publications such as Sink Hollow, Ellipsis…, and Ink and Nebula in addition to their self published collections Moonache, Sugarbecoming, and Weird Grief. They can be found wherever the gin is cheapest.


Ben Chappell

Ben Chappell is a writer, poet, and street magician who loves to blur the lines between poetry, rap, spoken word and social commentary. He believes in the power of words to reveal, heal, and unite us, and writes and performs on themes of addiction, social justice, self-reflection, and empathy.


Susan Bruns Rowe

Susan Bruns Rowe’s short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in The Louisville Review, The Clackamas Literary Review, Brevity, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. She is an editor for the online magazine Literary Mama and teaches creative writing for The Cabin and the Osher Institute at Boise State.

She is currently at work on a memoir about growing up on a small family farm on Idaho’s high desert. The memoir juxtaposes the beauty and austerity of the landscape with her older sister’s troubled and erratic behavior, which eventually led to a life of drug addiction and incarceration. Susan’s project for the COVID Cultural Commissioning fund is a work of creative nonfiction that explores what it’s like for her sister to gain her personal freedom from prison in the midst of pandemic and quarantine.


Grace Ward

Not so very long ago Grace, a bright-eyed Idahoan espresso fanatic, decided to audition for her high school’s spring musical. Since then she’s continued passionately forward in her quest for great theatre and great iced coffee beverages. She works as a playwright, lyricist, screenwriter, stage designer, and director for both screen and stage. Currently, Grace is on commission from the CCC fund to write a one-act musical about forest firefighters. Grace is also in early development for her first feature film (Operation California) and her first full-length musical (BL!NK). Grace is an alum of the National Theatre Institute and a rising senior at Boise State studying Theatre Arts.


Leta N

Leta Harris Neustaedter is an arts educator, musician, actor and clinical social worker. She owns Metamorphosis Performing Arts Studio where she weaves self discovery and life skills into her music and acting classes. She has been a published writer, activist and performer on screen and stage in the Treasure Valley for over 20 years.


Joel Wayne

Joel Wayne’s fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Chattahoochee Review, The Moth, and Salon, among many other places. He’s been honored with a Fellowship in Literature by the ICA, a Silver Creek Writer’s Residency, and the Lamar York Prize. Wayne produces the podcast “You Know The Place” for NPR. For his CCC project, Wayne is writing a trio of short stories that explore the confluences of claustrophobia and agoraphobia, depression and anxiety, particularly against the backdrop of trauma and upheaval.


Lily Yasuda

Lily Yasuda is a writer, educator and filmmaker. She was born and raised in Boise, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Screenwriting from Chapman University. She currently serves as the Grants Operations Manager for the Alexa Rose Foundation. She is an alumni of Foothills School, Balance Dance Company and Boise Contemporary Theater’s THEATER LAB program. She has performed with Alley Repertory, Homegrown and Campfire Theater companies, and enjoys flexing her creative muscles both on and off the stage. Her first feature film (LIKE LOVE) premiered in Boise in 2020, on which she served as the writer, producer and lead actress. When not writing, she can usually be found making lists, organizing small objects and having a variety of strong opinions.


Jodeen Revere

Jodeen Revere is a long time presence in the Boise theater and performing arts scene. She has worked with Boise Contemporary Theater, Alley Repertory Theater, Homegrown Theater, Opal Theater and Campfire Theater Festival in main stage productions as well as staged readings. She has also been an ensemble member in Migration Theory site specific works: S5, Small Matters and upcoming, Another, Another Agatha. Voice over, commercial and film work are also in the mix. in March 2020 BC (Before Covid) she was in rehearsals for a one woman show that she wrote for herself about her Trifecta of Cancer adventures, that was to workshop preview on March 23rd, as well as Another, Another Agatha which was to showcase during Treefort. Surprise!

So now she is writing a short one woman show about the one woman show about the Big C that got indefinitely postponed because of a new and different Big C. Super Meta. Thank you CCC (That is a lot of C’s…) for allowing me the opportunity to make something to share out of this unprecedented shift in the Matrix or our planet and our society.


Heidi Kraay

Playwright, writer and theater maker Heidi Kraay examines the connection between brain and body, seeking empathy with fractured characters. Plays include see in the dark, How To Hide Your Monster, New Eden and Kilgore, as well as co-devised plays, one-acts, plays for young audiences and short plays. Her work has been presented in Boise, regionally, in NYC and internationally, most recently through Tomo Suru Players (Vancouver, BC), Thingamajig Theatre Company (Pagosa Springs, CO) and the Alternative Theater Company (NYC). Heidi holds an MFA from California Institute of Integral Studies and is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America. www.heidikraay.com


Shriram Sivaramakrishnan

A proud alumnus of Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, Shriram Sivaramakrishnan is a first-year MFA student at Boise State University. His poems have recently appeared in Allegro, Coast to Coast to Coast, Bird’s Thumb, Pidgeonholes, among others. His debut pamphlet, Let the Light In, was published by Ghost City Press in June 2018. He tweets at @shriiram.


Amy Pence-Brown

Amy Pence-Brown is a fat feminist mother who believes in opening her mouth and her heart. From both of these places she tells stories – as a writer on her blog and other local & national publications, as a historian giving tours and lectures, and as a visual artist creating subversive stitchings and performance pieces. She has been a body image activist for the past 11 years & her message about the value of all bodies, no matter their size, has been covered by numerous international media outlets. She continues to lead the body justice revolution through public speaking and education, including on the TEDx stage, at conferences around the country, in classrooms to students young and old, and in the Boise Rad Fat Collective, a radical Facebook group with 2,300 people. She is also the organizer of RADCAMP: A Body Positive Boot Camp for Feminists and Feminist Teens and Be RAD! Be YOU! A Body Image Workshop for Girls aged 10-12. Pence-Brown is currently working on a body of work called Poems In a Pandemic writing about things like parenting three kids, homeschooling, sex, fear, bodies, joy, death and more.