Button Staff

Hanif Abdurraqib – Managing Editor

Hanif is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His first collection of poems, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, was released in 2016 and was nominated for the Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. His first collection of essays, They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in fall 2017 by Two Dollar Radio.

Riley Lang – Director of Social Media & Digital Marketing

Riley is a poet, MC, screenwriter, director, & producer from Minneapolis, MN. He currently resides in Los Angeles, and is fascinated with dreaming, storytelling, traveling, fooding, & anything book related, specifically building forts.

Alyssa Fabia – Publishing Operations Coordinator

Alyssa hails from the East Coast. She handles many day-to-day operations at Button, as well as making sure our staff are happy and paid. Alyssa enjoys black tea over green tea, rock climbing over bouldering, and planes over trains.

Sam Van Cook – President & Owner

Sam is the founder of Button Poetry. He is a National Poetry Slam champion and graduate of the University of Minnesota. Hailing from Boulder, Colorado and Moscow, Idaho, he now resides in Minneapolis.

Dylan Garity – Vice President

Dylan is a writer and performer who thinks that whispering just means talking loudly but in a lower voice. He hails from Oregon and will always love the West Coast, but thinks the Twin Cities are pretty cool too.

Neno Grae – Graphic Designer & Live Events Co-Coordinator

Neno is a writer and graphic designer from the middle of somewhere in the Midwest. They make sure Button events run smoothly and churn out a lot of the cool graphics you see on the ‘gram. Neno enjoys biking, working with artists, local breweries, and dinosaurs. You can catch them listening to Prince + other 80’s classics in the Button office.

Hitomi Wong – Shipping Coordinator & Post-Production Operations Assistant

Hitomi comes from an artistic and geeky background, majoring in Fashion Design. Hitomi enjoys playing games (board games or video games) and eating or making food, often times imitating Julia Child. Has extreme fear of bugs.

Spencer Brownstein – Video Editor & Social Media Assistant

Spencer Brownstein hails from Brooklyn, New York. Also known as Dr. Cool, he enjoys poems, long walks on the beach, and writing biographies.

Eric Tu – Video Editor

Tu the Judoka (Eric Tu) is a two-time national silver medalist in judo and occasional spoken word poet. Tu holds the rank of sankyu under shichidan Tom Crone and served as TA for the Unniversity of Minnesota’s judo course. He lives in Midtown Minneapolis and you can catch him biking down the Greenway or hanging out at the Global Market.

Yashin Voss – Director of Post-Production & Technical Lead

In addition to Yashin’s post and tech positions, they work as a project manager assisting with company development. They take their tea with a good book of philosophy, and will not stop talking about Star Wars.