OK, so I said we were going to take it easy this summer and, perhaps, thin the magazine down a bit. And we tried, we really did. For instance, this is our second month in a row without even one guest editor. Ha! Having no concept whatsoever of "resting" I even built a goofy community page on Facebook with my friends Phil, Jeff, Greg and Lumpy for the sole purpose of compiling really, really, REALLY bad music videos. But the truth is there’s just too much superb art out there to pass up. So let's kick this pig and see what it can do!
Our featured artist this month is writer/director Charles Evered, who has given us his new play Class for publication. I had the good fortune to attend the premiere of Class at the Cape May Stage in New Jersey (directed by the talented Roy Steinberg) and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so it only seemed right that I write the preface review for the play. I'm a complete devotee of Mr. Evered's work, and I am certain you'll enjoy Class.
This month A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler returns with the kind of outstanding line up of artists that is John’s signature and one of the primary reasons we’ve become so successful in such a short amount of time. This month John brings us three new poems and a compelling interview with H. L. Hix. Additionally, Hoppenthaler’s Congeries has Eleanor Stanford, Carl Phillips, Matthew Cooperman, Jeffrey Skinner, Lesle Lewis, translations of the poetry of Cai Qijiao, Scott Hightower, Holly Iglesias, Keith Flynn, Daniel Wolff, and Kathleen Graber. Outstanding!
From Plate to Palate with Amanda McGuire this month focuses on delicious cupcake-y desserts! You’ve got to be kidding me, right? I’m still trying to take off the winter-weight living in 28 feet of snow for four months mysteriously put on me. Still, they all look so damn good! Complete with recipes this month’s From Plate to Palate is a dentist’s wet dream! Well done, Amanda!
Fiction Editor Natalie Seabolt Dobson brings us Raymond Carver Short Story winner Robin Parks. Robin’s piece, Egg Heaven not only takes place in my home town, but in my neighborhood as well. Now that had nothing to do with why we published this gorgeous piece of fiction…nope, none at all. But hey, it didn’t hurt either!
Creative Nonfiction Editor Robert Clark Young brings us a fiercely personal piece by emerging artist Marlaina Gaspardi. I don’t want to give too much away here, but bring the tissues to this one. I was just floored by this piece. Thank you so much for sending it our way, Marlaina. Great job, as usual, Bob! And be sure to come back at mid-month to see a full selection of Fiction and Creative Nonfiction posts.
Nicholas Baker’s Discovered travel column this month takes us to Dubai. From the five star hotel where he and Freddy stayed to the harbor to the truly absurd amount of money spent to create this paradise in the sand, Nick takes us on yet another wild ride. In a country where it is “illegal to drink alcohol, eat pork, or be gay” Nick dissuades any misconceptions about the safety and security and luxury afforded to the weary (and seemingly mandatorily wealthy) traveler lucky enough to visit. I swear someday I’m going to give up this gig behind a desk and just travel. And I’ll be using Nick’s Discovered column as an atlas. Lovin’ it, Mr. Baker!
Drama Editor Joshua Fardon has been buried putting the finishing touches with director Kiff Scholl on Josh’s new play, Shake, as they prepare to debut the play at the Theater of Note in Los Angeles. Performer and radio personality Liz Warner interviews Josh & Kiff about the new play and we’re sure you’ll enjoy getting to know a bit more about our phenomenal Drama editor. Josh was a little shy about being interviewed in his own column, but I take the blame (or should I say credit) for this myself! Thank you SO much Liz, Kiff, and of course Josh!
Finally, Book Review editor Joshua Hardina brings us a review of Zachary Mason’s new book, The Lost Books of the Odyssey done by Patrick Racenberg. This is a solid review of what seems to be an outstanding first novel for Mason. I really like Patrick’s review and hope he continues to contribute reviews in the future. Thanks Patrick, and of course Thank You JOSH!
Well, that’s about it. By the end of the month I’ll be back in Southern California having a party at a cabin in the mountains with my daughters, friends and family, going to a party at a fancy movie director’s house, and visiting with some of my favorite people in the world. It’s been and will continue to be a great summer for us here at Connotation Press, and we hope it is for all of you, too. Because after all, people, we deserve it!
Connotation Press: Well, I'm Goin' Out West Where I Belong
This issue of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact is dedicated to the artist Dennis Hopper. A celebrated actor, director, writer, painter, photographer, and according to Rolling Stone Magazine, “one of Hollywood’s most notorious drug addicts,” Mr. Hopper appeared in over 150 films, directed nine and wrote four, and performed in over 140 television shows. Recently it was announced that his photography and painting will debut at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and he received his star on the Walk of Fame in May 2010. And none of this even begins to scratch at the surface of this brilliant and complex artist. Whether or not you agreed with his lifestyle, it is hard to argue that he made life his bitch until the very end. Mr. Hopper passed away on May 29, 2010 at the age of 74. For many, many years he was my hero. He will be missed.
Blog photo of the two most important people in the whole wide world: Lily & Hannah Robidoux