Wednesday Jun 29

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: July 2014

IMG 6634 Welcome to Issue XI, Volume V: July 2014 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

It’s July and that means this is our last new issue of our publishing year. Next month, in August, we’ll run our year-end retrospective, but after the mid-month post later this month we’ll begin wrapping up our fifth year online.

It’s been a hell of a ride and my note next month will include a relatively comprehensive report on the state of the magazine along with links to all the artists our editorial staff and I felt made such an impact that we are compelled to revisit their work. 

But for now, it’s July 1st. I’m on vacation—or whatever it is one calls what it is that an editor producing a bi-monthly lit mag on this scale does when he’s not teaching but instead spending hours in the humidity drenched hills of Appalachia tricking out our place here at Connotation Press that we lovingly call Innisfloyd. This summer I’ve stripped paint, epoxied weather sills, landscaped yards and cut down trees. Next I’ll be claustrophobic-ing in a crawlspace replacing a copper pipe, and later this week I’ll be in the glass business as I replace a window pane our Poetry Editor Kaite Hillenbrand broke (not that I’m pointing fingers but it was her. For sure. I saw it. No, seriously, I did. 100%, totally her).

Sorry, lost my point for a minute. What I meant to write is that I’ve got a whole lake of fish that need catching right outside my office door so damn it, let’s kick this pig and see what it’ll do!

A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler opens this month with John’s look at writings involving Niagra Falls. “Slowly, I turned…” Fun! From there he introduces his featured artist of July, Ms. Janine Joseph. We have an interview and some rather interestingly structured poems from Ms. Joseph. From there John brings us new poetry from Maxine Chernoff, Abdourahman Waberi translated by Nancy Naomi Carlson, Gibson Fay-LeBlank, Kelly Moffett, Brandon Dean Lamson, Susan Aizenberg, and Richard Krawiec. Looks like another stellar Congeries to round out the year. Great job, John!

Our all things film-poetry column, The Third Form with Erica Goss, drops five pairs of videos on us this month. That’s right, five sets of two different takes on a specific poem in the film-poetry format. Nic Sebastian, Swoon, and a host of regulars make return appearances in the column this month, along with Erica’s take on the whole shebang. Well worth the price of admission. Good stuff here. 

Our intrepid travelista, Nicholas Baker, is back this month with his American/Brit/American review of the city in a garden, Chicago, Illinois. Gorgeous photos grace the pages of this travelogue, and Nicholas’ unique perspective gives us a chance to see through the eyes of an ex-pat standing on the edge of the west. Okay, maybe it’s not all that John Ford-esque, but it’s a lovely review and we’re thrilled to bring it to you. Enjoy a spin around Chi-Town with Nicholas and Freddy as they discover Chicago!

During the past five years it has been my great fortune to make a few friends in the writing community. This month I get to introduce a book review that concerns two of them. I first met Faye Rapoport DesPres and Cindy Zelman at an off-site reading we sponsored in Chicago (small world, right?!) at AWP a few years back. I immediately felt comfortable with both of them as they are the best kind of people. This month Cindy is reviewing Faye’s new creative nonfiction collection, Message from A Blue Jay – Love, Loss, and One Writer’s Journey Home. Cindy thinks this is a knockout collection and I could not agree more. A BIG thank you goes to our book review editor Julia Bouwsma for getting this one to me. Made me smile. Please give the review a read and then buy a copy today. 

When I think fine wine I think Snake Plisskin. How’s that for a transition? Ha! Oh, yeah. Damn straight. Celebrity and the sales of wine is the focus of this month’s wine review column, A Drinker with a Writing Problem, by John Turi. John aims his discerning palate at Gogi Winery’s GoGi 2011 Chardonnay. It’s the Goldie (Hawn) label wine from The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes. And you know what, it scored well! Priced well, too. Check out John’s review and get the lowdown on this month’s featured wine. 

Finally, our Featured Fiction author for July is AWP Book Prize for Creative Nonfiction winner Sonja Livingston. YES! Fiction Editor Meg Tuite interviews Ms Livingston on her forthcoming collection Queen of the Fall along with how to navigate the ins and outs of writing from such a powerful place. Great new work accompanies the interview that we know you’ll enjoy. And don’t forget, this month we’ll publish our complete Poetry, Fiction, and Drama columns on the 15th of the month so we welcome you to come back then for more outstanding writing.

That’s it. Time to put this issue and myself to bed. It’s late. The lake outside my door is quiet save for the occasional ripple from a grass carp tail or amorous bluegill. The chipmunks that dart across the yard to their condos under our stone walkway are sleeping, as are the starlings nesting on the front porch. Partly cloudy skies, tonight. Just under 70 degrees. Well, maybe a little walk before bed. The night, one entirely like so many others, is just too good to waste.

Connotation Press: Scare Away The Dark

All best,

Ken Robidoux
Publisher/Founding Editor-in-Chief

Passenger: Scare Away The Dark