Jul 22

Issue XI, Volume V : July 2014

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: May 2013

IMAG0643a Welcome to Issue IX, Volume IV: May 2013 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

Tonight I was tempted to hang my “GONE FISHING” sign, slam a few links on this blog, and head out early on the much needed fishing trip I’ve been planning for weeks. Three nights lakeside in the Appalachian forest with my best friend, my bushcraft gear, a good fire, and a Steelhead on the end of my line. Oh, man! I get teary-eyed just thinking about it.

Yep, I just about ditched out early and headed for the water tonight, but then I’d miss my chance to give you the rundown of one of the strongest first-of-the-month posts we’ve released this year.

I’d say it’s about time to get all old-school up in this bitch, so without further delay let’s kick this pig and see what it’ll do!

I’ll start this month, as I always do, with a walk through our one and only invitation-only column, A Poetry Congeries, with John Hoppenthaler. John, John, John. Just when I thought you couldn’t knock me out any more than you already have; just when I thought I’d finally gotten used to the stellar talent you bring each month-- now, this?! First, John launches his column with one of the strongest blogs he’s written for us to date, and one that might help people understand a little better how those of us that publish creative work feel about what we do and why we do it.

From there it just gets surreal to me. As long as I’ve been writing I’ve been a die-hard fan of Sherman Alexie. As a member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas & Nebraska, I’ve cheered every one of his successes and felt them personally. And tonight, TONIGHT! I get to publish Sherman Alexie. WHOA!

I could hardly muster the sanity to write this blog. YES! But that’s not all. John also interviews Kazim Ali this month and drops three of his new poems. And then, THEN, Alice Notley drops by with three of her mind-blowingly gorgeous poems.

Now one would think John was done. That he had brought to the table enough for one month. Really. I mean, it. I might have a heart condition or something, you know. Who knows? But it looks like we’re going to find out. From here the Congeries becomes a string of accomplished and emerging talent that will provide you with some pristine moments of literary joy: Paisley Rekdal, Sasha Pimentel, John Casteen, Melanie Almeder, Shiobhan Campbell, and Brandi George round out my personally favorite Hoppenthaler Congeries yet. Oh, and for those counting, and there are those out there counting, that’s six women and three men, kids. Just sayin’.

Thank you, John, for making one of my dreams come true. Thanks, pal.

Up next, The Third Form, with Erica Goss this month takes us on an around the world vacation with NINE videopoems originating from all points on the compass. We go from Frisian, to China/Taiwan, to France, to Argentina, to Wales, to Iceland, to the UK, to Canada, to India/Pakistan and all from the comfort of your browser window. Lovely films here, all of them, compelling, passionate-- stunning work. An absolute gift. Great job, Erica!

And speaking of travel, our man about the world Nicholas Baker introduces us to guest travel writer Kyle Battisti who takes us on a grand journey to Zanzibar. Gorgeous pictures and stories from a seasoned traveler mark this entry in the Discovered column that is not to be missed. The image from the slave cell alone will haunt me. Powerful work, Kyle. Great job, and welcome to Connotation Press. Thanks, again, to Nicholas for bringing in this terrific piece.

On a sad note, our hearts go out to our Wine column editor, John Turi, this month. John and his lovely wife Shawn-Marie lost a dear family member a week ago and as anyone who has ever loved an animal will tell you, it sure ain’t easy. Like everyone that ever met her, I loved Buddy and was so sad to hear her time had passed. John takes a look back at his pal with a Kosta Browne 2009 Pinot Noir he had been saving for a special occasion, because sometimes special occasions are sad ones, too. Shawn & John, I love you guys.

Finally, and really it’s a good thing because I’m just a weepy mess at this point, the GENIUS Matt Hart is our Featured Fiction writer this month. We have an interview conducted by Editor Meg Tuite, music videos, a written fiction piece, and a video of Matt reading not one but two powerful and amazing pieces. This is an exclusive and seriously, if you haven’t read Matt Hart yet, you’re in for a TREAT! And on the Creative Nonfiction side, we have the return of a CNF column perennial favorite, Erika Tafton, with her new piece, “Gun Sunday.” Sounds delish! As always, our editors Kaite Hillenbrand, Meg Tuite, and Robert Clark Younge would like to take this moment to remind you our mid-month post is where we feature all new poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction column offerings and we’re looking forward to seeing you back soon.

That’s it, kids. Time to put this one to bed, and put me to bed to dream of dancing trout and rain-free nights and clothes bathed in smoky, bonfire goodness.

Until the next time, I’m Ken Robidoux, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Connotation Press saying, SHERMAN ALEXIE?!!! YES!!!

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