Wednesday Jan 24

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: April 2010

Welcome to the April 2010 issue of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact. It's National Poetry Month so we're celebrating by running our biggest issue yet. This month we've new offerings in eight columns and the line-up of artists is outstanding. Enjoy!
 
It’s National Poetry Month! Sure, it’s an arbitrary milestone like most holidays it seems, but it’s National Poetry Month! We have loaded our biggest issue yet and the list of contributors has even got me a little teary-eyed. I would have never guess just seven short months ago we’d be publishing the caliber of artists we have, quite frankly, every month…like this month… NATIONAL POETRY MONTH!
 
To start breaking down Issue VII, Volume II is tough because it’s hard to decide where to start, which for an Editor-in-Chief is a very good thing.
 
Allen Michael Parker and Leily Kleinbard are our Poetry Guest Editors this month and they’ve brought us an outstanding collection of poets that we’re sure will remind you to get back to work creating your own art ASAP! Check out new work by Arthur Sze, Elizabeth Scanlon, Sarah Gambito, Susan Briante, Tony Barnston & Alexandra Eldridge, Afaa M. Weaver, Martha Collins, Ada Limón and three new poems by Crystal Williams including a special treat! Crystal recorded three of the poems for your listening pleasure, and if you haven’t heard Crystal read you’re in for a sublime experience. THANK YOU Allen & Leily and all the great poets that contributed work for this issue.
 
Continuing with the Poetry theme, A Poetry Congeries, with John Hoppenthaler this month is scary-good. Not since our launch seven months ago has John scored so many of the poets that influenced me to be a writer, publisher, and editor and continue to influence thousands of writers and lovers of poetry world-wide every day. Grab a flak jacket and some protective goggles, here’s the list: World-class translator Alexis Levitin is back, this time he’s brought translations and an interview with Ecuadorian phenom Santiago Vizcaíno. ¡Exquisito! And since that’s never enough for Hoppy, he’s also brought us John Tranter, Cynthia Cruz, John Burnside, Dorianne Laux, Rebecca Lindenberg, Ray Gonzalez, Debra Kang Dean, Michael Burkard, Anne Townsend, Daniel Tobin, Baron Wormser, Rebecca Wolff, Jim Daniels, and Michael Chitwood.  Whew! Great job, John!

Even though it is National Poetry Month, we are not by any means just a poetry magazine. Oh, heck no! This month we’ve got our very first Creative Nonfiction Guest Editor in the person of Robert Clark Young. Bob had brought us four great nonfiction pieces that run the gambit from personal reflective writing, to comedic writing, to writing from far away. We have work from Dave Damianakes, Stephan Clark, Andrew Tonkovich, and Michael Leone (which really cracks me up!). Welcome Bob! And THANKS for a killer column.
 
From Plate to Palate with Amanda McGuire this month is doing something a little different. She contacted our staff of editors and asked if we’d all write a review of our favorite restaurant and even with harrowing schedules six of our editors managed to write a review: Kelly Fiore (Associate Editor), Natalie Seabolt Dobson (Fiction Editor), Kaite Hillenbrand (Poetry Editor), Katie Fallon (Creative Nonfiction Editor), John Hoppenthaler (Curator - Guest Editor-Poetry/A Poetry Congeries, with John Hoppenthaler), and me! Check out Amanda’s column and we’ll help you decide where to eat tonight…granted you must be in Southern California, Florida, India, Maryland, Ohio, or West Virginia. HA!). Thanks, Amanda and all the editors that contributed!
 
Nicholas Baker’s travel column, Discovered takes us to Thailand this month with a two part travelogue. In part one Nick and Freddy venture to Bangkok to take part in all the intriguing opportunities the city has to offer including a gorgeous five-star hotel, and in part two (which runs on the 15th) he tosses us in his carryon for an investigate trip to Phuket! We love the new travel column and especially love Nick’s crazy take on the world. How lucky we are to have Nick as a permanent member of our editorial staff! Thanks Nick!
 
Drama Editor Joshua Fardon has knocked it out of the park again, this time with Avant-garde artist Ken Rhot. Ken’s new play, Echo’s Hammer is a total trip worth the price of admission, and the interview Josh does is terrific. Also, check out the two embedded videos Ken has brought showing clips from his various productions. They are gorgeous and totally blow my mind. Welcome, Ken and THANK YOU Josh!
 
Fiction Editor, Natalie Seabolt Dobson, has brought in a great new addition to the fiction column. West Virginia writer Scott Marsh comes in with a lovely bit of fiction. And our Featured Undergrad of the Month is Walden Raines. Poet Goddess Dorianne Laux introduced us to Walden and we see great things on the horizon for this upcoming talent. How excited we are to be able to publish new and amazing young talent. THANK YOU Natalie, Scott, Dorianne, and Walden!
 
Our April issue is packed, silly packed, crazy-ass packed to the walls and we’re not finished yet. Come back on the 15th to see more new poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers, and to read Part II of Nick’s travelogue, Phuket Discovered. We’ll keep a plate warm for ya!
 
Connotation Press: Won’t You Let Me Walk You Home From School
 
This Issue of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact is dedicated to the wildly influential and touching artist Alex Chilton. Alex passed away March 17th and we have not yet begun to get over the loss. From The Box Tops to Big Star to his solo work, Mr. Chilton influenced some of the best singer/song writers in the country and we are infinitely grateful for his contribution to our lives. I have no idea what my record collection would look like without Mr. Chilton’s influence, and we are deeply saddened for losing this artist so young. Follow THIS LINK to Connotation Press contributor Jason T. Lewis and his band Sad Iron Music for a free download of their cover of Big Star’s Thirteen. Thanks Jason. Rest in Peace, Mr. Chilton. You will be sorely missed and not soon forgotten.
 
 
 
Alex Chilton photo by The Commercial Appeal Files