When we launched Connotation Press in September 2009, Kaite Hillenbrand, now Robidoux, started with us as my assistant. From there she went on to helm the poetry column for our first six years. With the exception of her last column entry in July 2015, her profile picture always included our mascot, and the love of our lives, Sammy ANARCHY BUNNY Robidoux.
Sam came into our lives through adoption. We answered an ad for bunnies in El Cajon, California, placed by a young person on her way off to college who was selling her most recent and final litter of Netherland Dwarf show bunnies. We were there to look at Sam’s brother, but our Sammy wasn’t having any of that at all. He loved on Kaite almost immediately, if I remember correctly, through a series of head-butts, and as I sat with him in the grass he climbed all the way up to my shoulder. Kaite was entirely smitten. Okay, we both were. However, we were warned about taking him as he was considered to be a bit “spunky”—which, apparently, is bunny-breeder slang for “pain in the ass”.
Lately, my blogs here have been a combination of what’s up in the new issue of the magazine combined with a nearly constant stream of WTF is our infantile dumb-ass-in-chief destroying now queries. I may have even pointed out how monkeys at the zoo who like to throw their feces at unsuspecting visitors seem to have more on the ball than this idiot who, after members of his own election committee were arrested Monday for bad Russian mojo and a string of fraudulent actions straight out of Donny’s book of stupidity, responded to the arrests by screaming on social media that it wasn’t connected to his election (HUH?!!!) and in truth it’s really about the Clintons (????HUH??!!!!). Oh, gawd, the stupidity. Oh so stupid. Such a stupid, stupid, rapey, ass-hat.
That’s what I’ve tended to write about in this blog at least since before the election but tonight, in our house, we are still in mourning, and the small-handed, small-minded, orange shit-gibbon twit is just an unwanted distraction.
We had eight and a half wonderful years with our tiny, anarchy driven, pal. His soul was pure, he led the most amazing life, traveled around the country by car and airplane, ate the best organic locally grown food, had fans, lived bi-coastally, went to college, did a few short films, and was loved more than I have any idea how to express. And he will be missed.
We have outstanding offerings for you this month; this first half of our November issue is a strong one. I guess it's time, all teary-eyed and tired, that we kick this pig and see what it’ll do.
A Poetry Congeries with John Hoppenthaler, much like the Dodgers, who, after a hard-fought win in game six, forced a game seven World Series finale, knocks it out of the park this month with new, powerful, stunning work from Jimmy Santiago Baca, Maggie Smith, Steve Kistulentz, Melissa Studdard, John A. Nieves, Melanie Graham, and John’s featured artist, the brilliant Maggie Anderson. Terrific interview with Ms. Anderson, too. Do Not Miss status on this one. Great job, John, and welcome to all the new contributors.
Meg Tuite delivers a lovely interview for her Crazy Rabbit Review column this month with, and a wonderful short story by, a regular Connotation Press contributor to our Creative Nonfiction column, Faye Rapoport DesPres. We LOVE Faye’s work, and as we’ve gotten to know her over the years we love her, too, but we were pleasantly surprised by how strong her Fiction work is, as well. Outstanding. Thanks Meg, and welcome back Faye!
Julia Bouwsma, our intrepid Book Review editor, turns over the reins of the column this month to Lucia Cherciu who reviews Diane Lockward’s new offering, The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement. In addition to a well-considered review, Lucia had the privilege of interviewing Ms. Lockward, and we’re grateful to present both that interview and her review here this month. Thanks Julia & Lucia!
And finally, A Drinker with a Writing Problem, our wine review column by renaissance man John Turi, takes a look back at John’s younger days working at a high-end liquor store in Southern California as he reviews the George Duboeuf, 2016 Beaujolais Nouveau: First Wine of the Harvest. A fun read. Enjoy!
Oh, and please don’t forget, we have all new offerings in our Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Nonfiction columns coming at you in just 15 days and we sure hope to see you back with us then.
That’s about it for now. And yes, I know devoting so much time in this column to mourning the loss of a furry little son, even one as loved as Sam, probably seems a bit silly to some, but I’ll tell you what. Sam was an original member of our team, our mascot, and our pal. And he deserves to be remembered. I guess what I’m trying to say is, thanks for putting up with a weepy old man.
Connotation Press: Of All the Sammy Bunnies in the World, He was the Sammy Bunniest.
Publisher, Founding Editor-in-Chief