Aug 29

Issue VII, Volume VI : August 2015

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: January 2014

IMG 2699 2 Welcome to Issue V, Volume V: January 2014 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact!

Happy New Year! 

As I write this note tonight I realize that I’ve been right here at this desk loading, laying out, and posting this magazine for the past five New Year celebrations. That’s five years of ducking out of parties early or missing them altogether, of sneaking a midnight hug or a peck on the cheek as I bail out to go to work. 

Another thing I realized tonight is on the eighth of this month my brother Joe, my daughter Hannah, and I will finish our most recent trip around the sun. In eight days I will reach the half-century mark. Fifty years old—not bad for a goofy, post-punk, epileptic. I was 44 when I came up with the idea for ConPress and 45 when we launched. And, thankfully, the magazine and I are both still going strong. 

This was a good year for Connotation Press. We crested the 19 million hit mark, released our first print edition, and published 11 Issues with 22 installments. A few team members left us to pursue other wonderful opportunities, and we gained some brilliant new staff members to take their place. 

And this was a good year for me, too. I moved to a beautiful lake house, my oldest daughter is living with me until she starts college in the fall next year, and I somehow managed to get engaged to our Poetry Editor, Kaite Hillenbrand. Woohoo!

Sure, there were problems—hell, still are— but overall 2013 came and went with a lot of huffing and puffing but not much power to back up its punch. C'est la vie. Onward & upward to 2014!

And now, as is our tradition, let’s kick this pig and see what it’ll do.

A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler launches 2014 with a dynamic collection of poets. John starts with a loving note of farewell to poet Shann Palmer who we lost recently to heart failure. From there he dives headfirst into the January issue with an interview and new poems by the talented Rose McLarney. He then delivers strong new work from Maria Hummel, James Tolan, Colleen J. McElroy, Gary L. McDowell, Jessica Jacobs, Karen Craigo, Alison Pelegrin, and Anthony Madrid. A wonderful column this month, John. Thank you and thank to all the new contributors. 

The Third Form, with Erica Goss, our video poetry column, takes a look at three video poetry projects that knocked us out. We have new videos from Motionpoems, The Poetry Storehouse, and the 12 Moons project featuring the poetry of our own Erica Goss. Excellent! Enjoy!

Experimental theater playwright David Todd brings us his outstanding new play, “Joy In Repetition: A Hauntological Romeo & Juliet” this month. Of the play, Drama Editor Kathleen Dennehy writes, “…it is a fascinating, mind-expanding read, as well as a very touching and funny treatment of one of the most famous plays of all time- Romeo & Juliet.” GREAT work. We can’t get enough of this stuff. Thanks Kathleen & David!

Book Review Editor Julia Bouwsma drafts another killer review-- this time of the strong new offering by Shane McCrae, “Blood.” This is McCrae’s second collection and it is stunning. Julia delivers a thorough look at this powerful collection that “…dives straight into the gully between history and self: a gully that runs with blood, where the self, so many times possessed and dispossessed, can barely recognize its own body anymore.” We encourage you to check out our review then get your copy today.

We recently received a note from Dorianne Laux introducing us to a remarkable undergraduate writer she’s been working with: Tyree Daye. We have three new poems from Tyree complete with an introduction by Dorianne that we’re sure you’ll enjoy! Thank you to the divine Ms Laux and to Tyree, who we’re proud to publish for the first time.

Our all things Wine Review guy, John Turi, brings us a gorgeous 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon from the Mayacamas Vineyard in Napa Valley, CA this month. John rates this superb varietal at a firm 92, and for $70 a bottle we just might be able to afford this one. Thank you to John for another review from Wine Country. Always a pleasure.

Finally, our featured Fiction author for the January 2013 issue is the compelling Cynthia Reeser. Editor Meg Tuite interviews Cynthia and we have her new piece, “All We Ever Wanted Was Love.” LOVED this piece. We’ll be back on the 15th of the month with our complete Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Artisan Review columns. We hope to see you then!

Well, that’s about it. We hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you. Oh, and one more thing before I sign off. This issue is dedicated to the artists we lost this past year, and to the art they left behind for us. As the great Warren Zevon once wrote, we’ll keep you in our hearts for a while.

Connotation Press: Like The Buttons On Your Blouse