Saturday Feb 13

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: May 2014

IMG 4880 Welcome to Issue IX, Volume V: May 2014 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. 

Usually, I don’t go in so much for cheering as the seasons change here on my note each month. I leave it to staff members far more talented in that kind of writing, like our Poetry Editor Kaite Hillenbrand or Fiction Editor Meg Tuite. However, after an assaulting, seemingly endless winter, I am singing the praises of spring to anyone that will listen. 

And yes, although winter kicked ass on most of us this year, whether we were buried under six feet of snow for five months or struggling through one of the worst droughts of the past hundred years, but there was also some wonderful moments not to be forgotten.

For instance, the offices of Connotation Press are on the shore of a gorgeous lake in wild, wonderful, West Virginia. This year the lake froze to the tune of a solid foot of ice. Add in another two or three feet of snow on top of the ice, and a warm day of 35 degrees or so, and you’ve got the makings of one big-ass snow bunny. 


And yes, that’s Poetry Editor Kaite Hillenbrand and my daughter Hannah Robidoux in that video. YEAH!

But as much fun as the winter can be, the cold gets old and when we brought out our Connotation Press mascot, ANARCHY BUNNY Sam, for a run in the dandelions and clover that has overrun our grounds this past weekend, we all breathed a collective sigh of joy that spring didn’t forget us and leave us behind. And really, since reading “The Last One,” by W.S. Merwin years ago I have always been waiting for the trees or seasons, basically all the natural world, to abandon us. Yeah for spring’s forgiving heart! We are saved again!

Okay, see. Now that’s just way over the top. I’m actually cheering for a personified season. Just goes to show how long and painful the winter really was this year. Anyway, here’s a little footage we’re calling ANARCHY BUNNY and the Dandelion Run. Enjoy!

Clearly, here at the home office we’re just grateful for all the green and flowering things that have returned to rejuvenate and break loose our collective, pent up psyche. Now let’s bust loose this new issue like the spring has done for us, and kick this pig to see what it’ll do!

A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler opens this month with John’s opinion on the diminishing returns we are all receiving from the use of partial quotations. He then launches into new work by his featured author, Allison Davis. Ms Davis is interviewed by an old friend of Connotation Press, Cheryl Torsney, and along with Ms Davis’ thoughtful answers it was good to see Cheryl’s inquisitive and wonderfully curious mind at work again. From there John rounds out the Congeries this issue with strong new poetry by Cathy Linh Che, David Huddle, Devin Becker, Lisa Fay Coutley, Page Hill Starzinger, Pui Ying Wong, and Sarah Green. An excellent start to our spring celebration! 

Our video poetry column, The Third Form, with Erica Goss, takes a look this month at the Saiyid/Veljee joint project, “Danatum Passu.” A small project with an ambitious heart, “Danatum Passu” was created to show some of the positive aspects of Pakistan. A lovely poem song presented with care and joy. WE LOVE IT! Great choice for May, Erica! 

May also marks the return of our travel writer, Nicholas Baker. WOOHOO! We’ve been awaiting the return of the intrepid Mr. Baker as he and Freddy have been on hiatus, hard at work gathering tips and discovering the most gorgeous hideaway spots to be found as they travel the globe. This month, Nicholas takes us to Bavaria where he and Freddy root out lots of cool info, places to visit, hidden alleyway shops and eateries, and beer, beer, beer! We could not be happier to have our travel column back. Bon voyage! 

As is the case with many Americans, I share ancestry with folks from a number of places. I am Iowa Indian, French, Irish, and Azorean Portuguese, and it is to Douro Valley on the mainland that our wine critic John Turi takes his column, A Drinker with a Writing Problem, this month. John focuses his sites on the Fonseca Porto winery and specifically on their 1977 Vintage Porto. This is one of the highest rated selections John has brought in to the column, and for those with a taste for wine, we strongly recommend this month’s review. 

Our Associate Poetry Editor Julie Brooks Barbour pulls double-duty this month as Book Review Editor Julia Bouwsma turns over the reins of her column so Julie can focus on the collaborative collection, Intimates and Fools, by poet Laura Madeline Wiseman and artist Sally Deskins. Julie gives us her opinion on the collection and interviews both artists, and the result is a review that is a lot of fun to read. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Thanks Julie & Julia!

Finally, our featured fiction author for May 1st is the talented Indigo Moor. Gorgeous, flowing prose here, kids. Very cool. And remember, our entire Poetry & Fiction columns post on the 15th of each month so we welcome you to come back then for more work by our outstanding contributors. 

That’s about it, for now. We hope you take some time clicking through the pages of Connotation Press this month, and we hope you take twice as much time turning off your computers, darting out your front doors, and getting a little spring on ya. It’s good for the soul! 

All best,

Ken Robidoux
Publisher/Founding Editor-in-Chief

Connotation Press: Sing Sing Sing