Nov 29

Issue II, Volume VII : November 2015

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: March 2014

MeandFroggy Welcome to Issue VII, Volume V: March 2014 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

As I write this note tonight, AWP2014 is in full swing on a clear winter’s night in Seattle, Washington. 

This is the first year in many that I didn’t go to the conference. With the exception of a small band of our editorial staff roaming the halls and reading at events nightly throughout the off and on-site venues, Connotation Press didn’t have a presence at the conference, either. My heath inevitably kept me from going this year; I’m not necessarily considering my circumstances to be unfortunate. After all, everyone I speak to seems to agree that it can be a bit overwhelming. Although, I must say that with temperatures hovering around 50F, it would be one of the more downright balmy AWP experiences in a long time. Remember the slicing ice-daggers from hell in Chicago? Ha!

Still, there is nothing quite like knowing you are surrounded by thousands of otherwise introverted loners who for one weekend a year gather en masse to complain about the high cost of alcohol, publishing, teaching gigs, and social media. I have never failed to make new and lasting friendships at any AWP conference I’ve attended. The genius present is always astonishing; the warmth and appreciation of our contributors, uncomfortably flattering and kind. 

Oh, and in Seattle there’s legal marijuana, too…sort of! And hey, “sort of” is good enough for me. I’ve read the delivery services are up and running, and all the dance events at the conference reek of the fruits of those deliveries. Ain’t it grand! 

Here’s to all the 14,000 or so of you out there looking for a moment of art and grace on a gorgeous Washington night deep in the pocket of fellowship, pen, and paper. 

Now, as is our custom, let’s kick this pig and see what it’ll do!

Our new issue lights up with an all new Poetry Congeries, with John Hoppenthaler. John launches the column this month with his take on VIDA’s most recent findings. From there John delivers outstanding new writing from his featured artist: Jacqueline Bishop, and rounds out the column with powerful new work from Bruce Smith, Tyler Mills, Matthew Olzmann, Kathleen Fagley, Kelly McQuain, Grace Bauer, Gaylord Brewer, and Gerry LaFemina. Enjoy!

Our video-poetry column, The Third From, with Erica Goss focuses on a presentation Erica has been giving introducing the world to video-poetry, and lists nine of her favorite poems she’s using to bring the genre to new and bigger audiences. Good stuff!

Book Review Editor Julia Bouwsma digs headfirst into Julie Doxsee’s new collection of poetry, The Next Monsters. Julia opens the review, “Behind the pale, hauntingly austere cover of Julie Doxsee’s third book of poems, The Next Monsters (Black Ocean, 2013), lurks a throng of prose poems as lithe and treacherous as any living, breathing beasts.” Needless to say, both the book and the review are well worth the read. Thanks Julia. Great job! 

Our go-to, in-house wine critic, John Turi, takes a taste this month of the Harlan Estates 1997 TheMaiden. This red, proprietary blend is said to be well worth the experience and cost, but we encourage you to read John’s assessment before shelling out the $200 one of these gems fetch. 

And finally, Fiction Editor Meg Tuite brings us her featured author this month, and someone I had the privilege of meeting at AWP in Boston last year, the charming Karen Stefano. In addition to being a brilliant lawyer, Karen is also a talented writer that we’re excited to bring you. And don’t forget, the complete Fiction, Poetry, and Artisan Review columns go live on the 15th of the month, so come on back for more!

I hope everyone has a wonderful conference and you all make it home safe and happy when it's over.

All best,

Connotation Press: Miss You