Monday Jul 22

Me 2017 Welcome to Issue VI, Volume IX: July 2018 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. 

Summer is in full swing and most of our staff is on some kind of much deserved vacation. In that spirit, and keeping with our usual July tradition, I’ll make this introduction short and refrain from much of the usual political rant. 

However, I will say this: The Supreme Court is a fair and unbiased group of highly ethical and above reproach people, just ask Anita Hill. Oh, and how's your son's loan business doing Mr. Kennedy? Hope it was worth unraveling what little morality you had left.

And with that let’s kick this pig and see what it’ll do. 

A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler launches this week with powerful new poems and a wonderful interview with John’s featured artist of the month David Biespiel. From there John delivers the poetry of Adrian Blevins, Nicholas Christopher, Laura Davenport (loved these poems--keep a special place in my heart for Pessoa!), Katie Donovan, Doug Ramspeck, and Renée K. Nicholson. Add in John’s preface and we’ve got a strong offering from a column that is a wellspring of poetry I wish I’d have written. Great job, Mr. Hoppenthaler, and welcome to all the new contributors. 

My Lovely Obsession, our Music column from the genius of Al Maginnes, sets it’s tuned ear on the sonic influence of Dead & Company. Al attended a concert with the most recent incarnation of the band, this time in North Carolina with John Mayer on lead guitar—a point he visits in the article. In addition to a review of the concert, Al ruminates over bands that have moved through time to the point that in at least one case none of the original members are still in the band. Also, in the column this month we have actual footage from the concert shot by Dead & Company’s people, which rocks. I love this column! Thanks, Al!

Up next, our Book Review Editor Julia Bouwsma brings us two glowing reviews this month. In the first, Meg Boyles reviews Julianna Baggott’s Instructions, Abject & Fuming, a 2017 offering by Southern Illinois University Press/Crab Orchard Series in Poetry. A little Connotation Press trivia, we published Julianna’s poetry exactly three years ago today in our July 2015 issue. Our second review is from Kathryn Weld who dives into Lynn Schmeidler’s, A History of Gone from Veliz Books. This one also looks like an especially strong collection. Thanks to Meg, Kathryn, and most of all Julia for the great reviews!

Finally, with his hands in the gutter and his mind in the stars, all things wine guy John Turi lets us in on some of the secrets to amassing a collection of amazing wine, this time focusing on Pinot Noir—especially from the good people at Kosta Browne. John gives high marks to their 2009 Gap Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir naming it a classic, extraordinary wine. A lot of good information here for the collector and the drinker. Thanks, John!

Okay, that’s it for now. We’ll have all new offerings in our Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction columns coming up on the 15th of this month, followed closely behind by our August retrospective wherein we look back at some of our favorite pieces that we published over the past year. 

Until then, try to keep your head above water no matter how often the horrible orange turd and his absolutely complicit minions release the floodwaters. We’re better than this. Our numbers bear it out.

Connotation Press: Donald Trump Is A Two-Bit Punk. He Is Not A Mechanic, He’s Just The Tool.