Tuesday Feb 28

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: March 2015

Ken1 Welcome to Issue IV, Volume VI: March 2015 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

Since our last issue launched in January, New England has been hammer-locked into submission by horrendous and seemingly nonstop snow storms. I think at one point Boston got 63,000 inches in 48 hours. Here at Connotation Press, we’ve been sealed in ice for weeks. A fitting setting, it would seem, for finding out we’d lost Phil Levine on Valentine’s Day. As a young Californian writer, I was taught time and again to respect the genius of our Phil. Yes, ours. He was ours because he taught many of our teachers. He was ours because he knew us. And he was ours because he chose us. Damn straight. He was ours and he will be missed.

Without even attempting a transition, did you see last Sunday Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) won four Academy awards! If you haven’t seen it, Birdman is the story of an aging super hero movie actor, played by Michael Keaton, who in an attempt to get back on top and gain a little respect stages a Broadway production of Raymond Carver’s, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Great to see Carver back in the movie house again. I think the last time was in the film Everything Must Go starring Will Ferrell, which was adapted from Carver’s short, “Why Don’t You Dance.” 

And on the home front, the last two months have brought us into pre-production mode with our new internet TV show focusing on the culture of Appalachia through its food & music. Most of our crew has been hired and is in place, and we’re scrambling to tighten up scripts & lock down shooting locations throughout West Virginia where we are filming our entire first season. The show stars the genius of Chef Marion Ohlinger, and features music with Appalachian roots from our bandleader Adrian Larry and a grip of visiting guest musicians. This one promises to be a lot of fun and is not to be missed. We’ll keep you up on developments as primary shooting begins soon. 

And with that, let’s get all customary and kick this pig to see what it’ll do!

A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler smokes this issue with stunning new work from the brilliant Romanian poet Magda Cârneci translated by Alina Cârâc and Adam J. Sorkin. From there John brings us powerful new work by Iain Haley Pollock, Amy Beeder, Aaron Smith, Nathan McClain, Dan Rosenberg, Angie Macri, and Terry Lucas. And don’t miss John’s blog this month wherein he discusses his new book, Domestic Garden, which just dropped February 3rd from Carnegie Mellon UP. Great job, John, and congratulations on the new book!

Meg Tuite’s Crazy Rabbit Review delivers two stunning authors this month: Kathy Fish and Susan Lewis. We have five new flash pieces from Ms. Lewis, and along with a grip of new flash stories, Ms. Fish sat down for a video-interview with Meg at the Crazy Rabbit Review headquarters in New Mexico to discuss her work and life and everything that matters. Rock on, Meg!

Erica Goss, editor of our video-poetry column, The Third Form, focuses her gaze on the gorgeous work of Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Erica looks at three of Ms. Griffith’s video-poetry projects, This Dust Road: Self Portrait (Excerpt of a Walking Poem); BlackPoetsSpeakOut: “Incident,” by Amiri Baraka; and her current project, P.O.P (Poets on Poetry). This is a strong collection of work by an artist that sees the world in glorious, multi-genre facets. Great job, Erica!

Our Book Review editor Julia Bouwsma hands over the keys to the store this month to meg willing and her review of Bianca Stone’s new collection, Someone Else’s Wedding Vows. Ms. willing gives a glowing review of Ms. Stone’s work, and we ADORE the first two lines of the review, “Bear with me, because I want to start at the beginning. The creation-of-the-cosmos beginning…” And away we go! Thanks, meg and great job, Julia!

Finally, in our all things grape and tingle column, John Turi takes A Drinker with a Writing Problem to the Screaming Eagle winery in Napa Valley, California to take off on their 2008 varietal Second Flight. John gives high marks to this Cabernet Franc/Merlot red blend, and spends a little time providing some backstory to this historical vineyard and its delicious fruits. Salute!

And with that, Issue IV, Volume VI: March 2015 part one is up and running! We’ll have more later this month from our Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Drama columns, and one hell of a special treat by way of a guest editor that we are dying to tell you about. Seriously, COME BACK later this month for a knockout mid-month post.

Until then, keep warm and remember it can’t last forever. Someday, soon, the sun will return and all the flowing things with it. And we will dance!

Connotation Press: Spring Forward, Bitches!

All best,

Ken Robidoux
Publisher/Founding Editor-in-Chief
Connotation Press