Thursday Jun 20

Ken Robidoux, Editor-in-Chief: May 2019

Me 2017 Welcome to Issue V, Volume X: May 2019 of Connotation Press: An Online Artifact.

Issue V marks the three month point between this issue and the end of our tenth year online, and it is also time to let you all in on our news.

We built this literary journal during the spring and summer of 2009. We launched in September of that same year. Connotation Press was created on a Joomla platform, utilizing an Adobe flash software program to display the long-form writing, and poems with line breaks and shifts that made them especially difficult to replicate properly on the internet.

Although we’ve done everything possible to keep it up to date and functioning properly, we could never have anticipated when we built Connotation Press what direction the computer tech companies would go with their software in the future. We are, after all, just a bunch of writers. For example, we could not have possibly seen the systematic end of Adobe Flash software, the software we use for 95% of all fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama published on the site. And there are several other software issues in the same situation: standard software phased out in favor of something else, resulting in costly upgrades, an IT maintenance staff, and regular fixes to keep the website going.

The truth is, I’m not entirely surprised by any of this. Imagine how effectively you’d be able to search the internet and communicate with others if you were using a ten-year-old cell phone. At best, your phone would be able to make a call. That’s about it. Searching the internet on your phone browser, if it had one, would be all but impossible. In fact, the antiquated software in your phone would not even be upgradable. Hell, Kaite's six year old Apple computer can't even upgrade its software.

And this is where we find our magazine. After ten years, we are a mess of patches, temporary fixes, and regular, expensive maintenance. Even then, many of our columns are no longer viewable by everyone on computer or phone, and now somewhat regular crashes have become the norm. It is clear to everyone, even this lughead, that it’s time for a change.


It is for this reason and many more like it that I have decided to place this magazine on hiatus starting September 1st of this year. Our hiatus will last one year as we build an entirely new website with contemporary, easily updatable software, and convert our existing site from our Joomla platform to the new one. And, you know, take a little time off. I think we all deserve it.

Connotation Press: An Online Artifact will remain online the entire time. All links, with few exceptions, will still function as they should. In fact, from the outside there will be little difference to the magazine. However, we will be closing our submission page at the end of this month in anticipation of our coming hiatus.

Here’s a quick rundown of our schedule from here to there:

      May 15th: Issue V, Volume X: May Mid-Month post release.
      May 31st: Submission Page Closes until this time next year.

       July 1st: Issue VI, Volume X: July 2019 release.
      August 1st: Issue VII, Volume X: August 2019: A look back at 10 years online release.

       September 1st: Hiatus officially begins.
     
And with that we’ll be off for a year.

I can already tell it’s going to be strange getting used to not worrying about putting out fires and posting up the new issue on time for a while. New Year’s Eve this year will be the first in ten years I won’t be on my computer at the stroke of midnight posting the new issue of this crazy purple volunteer fire truck that could. After publishing thousands of writers, reviews, column features, a couple of print books, and a whole lot of good will it’ll be wonderful to take a short, year-long break, maybe take a vacation, read something ENTIRELY of my choosing, and sleep a little easier before coming back with a whole new toy to play with.

We’ll keep you up to date as events unfold leading up to and during the hiatus as the new site is built. And again, the site as it is now will stay up and online while we’re gone. All your published pieces will stay right where they are—links and all.

Now, come on! Let’s kick this pig and see what it’ll do!

This month A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler features our friend, the disturbingly talented Justin Philip Reed, fresh off his recent National Book Award. We started publishing Justin as an undergrad at Tusculum University and are among the first on a growing list of folks who gratefully gawk lovingly at the brilliance of this artist. Welcome back, Justin. And seriously, THE F’ING NATIONAL BOOK AWARD?!!! Anyway, you know John, one genius poet is never enough. This month Fady Joudah, Charlotte Pence, Wayne Johns, Jennifer Sperry Steinorth, Soren Stockman, and Joel Brouwer round out the list of talent we have for you. And don’t forget to drop by John’s blog and listen to a guy, with all the love in his heart possible, explain how the magazine will change for his column in the future. Spoiler alert: It’s all good things!

It’s the beginning of summer and we have a new set of reviews by our go-to music guy, the right proper (most of the time), Al Maginnes. Al managed to get to the Bob Dylan gig at the Durham Performing Arts Center, the Kamasi Washington gig, and the Lucinda Williams-Drive By Truckers show, both at the Ritz in Raleigh, NC. I love these reviews and this column. Great to have Al back!


We also have a new travel log from Nicholas Baker as he and Freddy just returned from India and the Holi celebration. In this installment, the boys travel to the home of Bollywood, Mumbai, and the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. It’s all so, well, everything! Do not miss on this one! Thanks guys. You entirely rock!

And finally, Julia Bouwsma has two offerings for our book review column. First, Katie Schmid reviews Ángel García’s new collection, Teeth Never Sleep from University of Arkansas Press, and then Miriam O’Neal reviews Dzvinia Orlowsky’s new collection from Carnegie Mellon Press, Bad Harvest. MAN! I’m really looking forward to having the extra reading time to get into these books. Thank you, Julia, Katie, and Miriam.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. Don’t forget to come back on the 15th of the month for our Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction columns. And if you’ve ever thought of submitting to us or have in the past and are thinking of doing so again, DO IT! The time is running short. Only one more month of submissions will be taken for the last issue before the hiatus. I hope yours is in the bunch!

Connotation Press: Pressing Connotations Since 2009

All best,

~Ken Robidoux
Publisher/ Founding Editor-in-Chief


Kaite & my Zevon and Nicholas & Freddy's Lulu. <3