Button Round-Up 15

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Hello, and welcome back to another exciting week of poetry! What are you waiting for? Get clicking!

“Poetry as Dialogue: Some Thoughts on Chapbooks” by Heather Bowlan
To start off the week, here is a brief article on the history and function of chapbooks. One chapbook that’s specifically analyzed is black movie by Danez Smith, former winner of Button’s Chapbook contest (this year’s contest is open for three more days!)

The Adroit Journal’s 2016 Best of the Net Nominees
The Adroit Journal released its list of nominees for its Best of the Net Anthology, an annual collection of works from around the internet. This year’s list includes Button regulars Fatimah Asghar, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Sam Sax. Congratulations poets!

“A New Center for Black Poetics” by Tara Jayakar
Earlier this year, three poets, Dawn Lundy Martin, Terrance Hayes, and Yona Harvey, founded the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP). The CAAPP is meant to be “a creative think tank to spark conversation and collaboration among poets and other artists, and to promote and archive the work of African American poets for future generations.” Check out more of the CAAPP’s work and history in this article!

2016 National Poetry Series Open Competition
This week, the National Poetry Series announced its winners of the 2016 Open Competition. Among the winners is a Button author, the ever-brilliant Sam Sax. Congratulations Sam!

“Writing to be Read Aloud” by Pat Thomson
In this blog post, Pat Thomson writes about the difficult differences between writing for the page and writing for speech. Though this is technically about academic writing and lectures, I think it has some interesting implications for page and spoken word poetry. What are your thoughts?

“Mom” by Alyesha Wise & Aman Batra
All Def Poetry recently uploaded a video of this stunning poem about feminist motherhood and raising feminist daughters. Check out the poem, and this lovely write up by Jenavieve Hatch.

“Rest in Peace, Max Ritvo” by Daniel Slager
We’re closing out this week’s Round Up with somber news. The brilliant young poet Max Ritvo unfortunately passed away earlier this week. The entire Button team is sending condolences and love to all of Max’s friends and family.

And it is here that we part ways. As always, I hope you have enjoyed yourself and maybe even learned a thing or two.

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Spencer Brownstein is a poet, student, and Button staffer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves beanies, dogs, and a nice cigarette after dinner.

Button Round-Up 14

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It’s the weekend, so you know what that means, another installment of Button’s Round-Up! This week we have lots of poems, some articles, and more! Enjoy!

Slam Poetry: A new generation of multicultural poets empowered through the spoken word
This article comes all the way from Australia. It covers a lot of ground concerning the impact of slam poetry in Australia, such as it’s place in bridging racial divides. It’s refreshing to read a story about slam poetry not focused on America!

The Adroit Journal’s 2016 Best of the Net Nominees
The Adroit Journal released its list of nominees for its Best of the Net Anthology, an annual collection of works from around the internet. This year’s list includes Button regulars Fatimah Asghar, Hieu Minh Nguyen, and Sam Sax. Congratulations poets!

Three Poems by Jonathan Jacob Moore
Here are three poems by Jonathan Jacob Moore, also known as Jon Jon. The poems are titled “frank ocean and all black things that disappear on their own”, “owed to the work”, and “ghazal for bitchboi”. Enjoy!

Storytelling & Bookmaking Field Trips
This one is for educators and parents in the Boston area. Designed for grades 1-4, 826 Boston offers a two-hour workshop that will help young students create their own books! This is a wonderful opportunity to show young kids the power and fun behind creating books outside of the classroom.

Pinwheel Journal Issue 11
The latest issue of Pinwheel Journal was released this week. The list features Button poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, and (for the second time this week) Hieu Minh Nguyen and sam sax! Once again, congratulations poets!

“Why We Need The Get Down’s Hip-Hop Myths” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
Speaking of Hanif, he recently had a new essay published by MTV. The essay is about The Get Down and the cultural importance of myths like the origins of rap and hip-hop. Thank you, Hanif, for this amazing piece.

And that’s it for this week’s round-up! I hope you enjoyed all the reading material. See you again next week!

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Spencer Brownstein is a poet, student, and Button staffer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves beanies, dogs, and a nice cigarette after dinner.

Button Round-Up 13

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Welcome back to another exciting installment of the Button Round-Up! This week we have some poems, an interview, and an Olympian! What are you waiting for? Get clicking!

“The Fireside Fiction Report: A Reader/Critic’s Perspective” by L.E.H Light
I genuinely hope those among you in any sort of publishing field take note of this first article. Recently, the Fireside Fiction Report revealed that out of 2,039 stories published in 2015, only 38 were written by black authors. Light’s commentary is smart and needed; check out and share this article, and hopefully some change can come.

Kevin Kantor Inspired By
This week, Kevin got an artist’s profile done by the people over at Ori Media. Though short, it is a compelling video, one that hopefully makes you want to check out Kevin’s amazing work. You can find some of his poems back at our YouTube channel!

The Flambard Poetry Prize
The Flambard Press, one of the UK’s most largely recognized independent presses, has opened submissions for poets who have not yet been published to have their first shot. Submissions will be open until October 31st. Check out the link for more details!

“Surviving the Survival” by David Winter
This week, The Poetry Foundation’s David Winter sat down for an interview with the brilliant poet Ocean Vuong. Ocean opens up about fear, family, self love, and more interesting topics. Read the interview, and check out some more of Ocean’s work when you’re done (and don’t miss our own interview between Ocean and Button author Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib).

Poems by Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
The Infoxicated Corner at The The Poetry released a poetry spotlight on the works of Joshua Jennifer Espinoza this week. The spotlight includes three poems, which should make for some nice weekend afternoon reading.

“Road to Rio is paved with poetry for runner Alexi Pappas” by Mary Jo Brooks
To round out this Round-Up, here’s a topical story about both the Olympics and poetry (bet you didn’t think I’d find one of those!) Alexi Pappas, an American long distance runner, recounts how poetry was a part of her life before track and how it continues to inspire and push her.

Is it over already? Looks like we’ll both have to check in again next week to see what wonderful links and articles the Internet has in store for us. See you then!

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Spencer Brownstein is a poet, student, and Button staffer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves beanies, dogs, and a nice cigarette after dinner.

Button Round-Up 12

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Welcome to the first Button Round-Up of August! As the summer pushes on and the heat covers us all in a layer of sweat, why not kick back for a little while in the cool embrace of the internet?

Bitch Media Fellowship for Writers
Recently, Bitch Media opened application submissions for its fellowship program’s second year. The fellowship, directed by Bitch Media cofounder Andi Zeisler, is looking for writers with minimal publication experience and a strong voice on subjects like activism, feminism, and pop-culture criticism. You can apply until September 15th!

Nashville Review, Summer 2016
The Nashville Review, edited by the MFA students at Vanderbilt University, has released its second issue of the year. The Nashville Review seeks to share a combination of traditional and non-traditional literature, from poetry to comics. The Summer 2016 issue features not one, but two poems by long-time friend of Button, Hieu Minh Nguyen!!

“5 Reasons to Read: The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib” by Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah
This week the internet was gifted with this stunning review of The Crown Ain’t Worth Much by Emmanuel Oppong-Yeboah. Though this may look like a listicle based on the title, this review is so much more, grinding deep into Hanif’s work with voice, time, anaphora, and many more literary techniques and explaining just what Hanif is doing in his work that makes The Crown Ain’t Worth Much the beautiful collection that it is. Get your copy here.

“Venom (ft. Lucien Parker)” by Guante
Guante released a new single, “Venom,” on his Soundcloud this week. If you were looking for a cool new track to throw on your Saturday-night playlist, look no further! “Venom” can be found on Guante’s album, “Post-Post-Race” which is available on Bandcamp.

“Pack These Pages” by Samantha Raphelson & Justine Kenin
Check out this reading list released by NPR! The list was curated by seven different professional booksellers and should fill your last month of summer with some great reads. The list offers selections of fiction, nonfiction, and children & young adult books.

Button Round-Up 11

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Another week has passed, which can only mean one thing. It’s time for another Button Round-Up! This week we have some new poems, intriguing essays, and more!

Brooklyn Poets Reading Series for the NYC Poetry Festival
This one is for all our fans back in my hometown of NYC. The festival is open this weekend, and tomorrow starting at 11 AM on Governors Island will be a long feature set by the Brooklyn Poets. Why not enjoy poetry while basking outside in the summer sun?

“Beyond the Benefit” by Guante
Friend of Button and two-time National Poetry Slam champion Guante published an essay on his website this week challenging artists from all walks of life to become more active in building and maintaining various movements for change. Guante write, “I believe that as artists, we have more to offer than our art.” Give this a read, then get out there and make a difference!

“In Service of Staying Alive” by Lynne Procope
Former National Poetry Slam champion Lynne Procope recently published this poem in the Offing Magazine. Beautiful in message, “In Service of Staying Alive” also challenges form and has become one of the more uniquely written poems I’ve seen lately. Be sure to check this out if you’re looking for something a little different!

Three Poems by Nick Flynn
This week the internet was given not one, not two, but three new poems by the ever talented Nick Flynn. Two of the poems are closely tied to the theme of fatherhood, while the third is a critique of the modern day practice of wasting time as we “scroll, scroll, scroll.”

Inside the 2016 Man Booker Longlist by Arnav Adhikari and Tyler Parker
The Man Booker Prize is one of the most prestigious and sought after literary prizes in the world. The 2016 list of possible winners was recently released, and in this article many options are noted and briefly reviewed. Use this to fuel your next reading list! How many of these novels have you read?

“The story’s the thing at the Moth” by Niki Patton
This article is all about a different type of slam, story slams. The Moth, started in 1997, has since spread to many cities across the country and feature slam style bouts with storytelling rather than poetry as the main focus. Check out this article and support The Moth if they exist in your hometown!

And so ends another week’s worth of links and poems and fun times. I don’t know what you’ll take away from this Round-Up, but I sincerely hope it’s something you can use actively and positively moving forward. See you next week, when we’re all older and stronger!

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Spencer Brownstein is a poet, student, and Button staffer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves beanies, dogs, and a nice cigarette after dinner.

Button Round-Up 10

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It’s the weekend, so you know what that means. The Button Round-Up is back with another exciting installment! Dive with us into the magical world of the poetry-related internet.

Buzzwords Poetry Competition 2016
This one’s for our fans across the pond! Our own Chapbook Contest is now in full swing (and open to international submitters!), but the Buzzwords Poetry Competition can be a great way to submit your poems if you don’t have a full manuscript and are living in the UK. Submissions close on August 7th.

Poet Activist Spotlight: Jacqui Germain
One of Button’s newest authors, Jacqui Germain, recently did a wonderful interview with Stevie Edwards from Ploughshares at Emerson College. Jacqui speaks about her own poetic influences and her work as a community organizer and activist. Don’t forget to check out Jacqui’s book, When the Ghosts Come Ashore, after you read this interview!

“Why Poetry is the Best Medium for Kids Who Want to Change the World” by Ketherine Brooks
Last week was the 19th annual Brave New Voices festival, featuring over 500 kids from 55 cities participating in the poetry slam tournament. Featuring Button author Danez Smith, this article goes on to affirm the positive benefits of youth slams and young kids expressing themselves through spoken word poetry.

Verbalise
If you are a young poet still trying to figure out your way into spoken word, then Verbalise is just for you! Starting next week in Birmingham, Verbalise is a four-week program offering classes and one-on-one mentoring that can give you the tools to launch your own career in spoken word poetry. It’s not too late to sign up!

“On Continuing the Work of Who Carried Us Here” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
Celebrating the release of his debut book The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, Button author Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is back in this week’s Round-Up with another essay. Unlike the past two weeks, with his regular music features, Hanif is reflecting on the release of his book, and how to be thankful to and honor those who have made it possible to get where he is today. Writing more a love letter than an essay, Hanif is back with his usual brilliance.

“for lee buencamino” by Mae Verano
To close out this week’s Round-Up, here is a short but sweet poem by Mae Verano. A member of the Brown 2016 CUPSI team, Mae Verano’s “for lee buencamino” is haunting in it’s brevity. “how lucky am i to speak your words / savor that same story / and still stand here / existing.” How lucky we all are to have this piece this weekend.

That’s all for this week, folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed your time here, and read something that will make some kind of impact, no matter how small, on your week moving forward. See you next Saturday!

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Spencer Brownstein is a poet, student, and Button staffer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves beanies, dogs, and a nice cigarette after dinner.

Button Round-Up 9

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Hello, hello, hello! Welcome back to Button’s Round-Up, your friendly collection of poems, essays, and more from around the web. Dive on in, I’m sure you’ll read something here that will pique your interest this weekend!

A Reading List for America by Maira Liriano
This week, in response to the current racial tension in America, the New York Public Library has released a reading list to help foster literacy of the Black American experience. The body of works is diverse; hopefully you can find time to read them all!

“& O, bright star of disaster, I have been lit.” by Franny Choi
Often seen on the Button YouTube channel and always a brilliant poet, Franny Choi had a poem featured in The Paris-American this week. After, Lo Kwa Mei-En, Franny’s piece is a representation of struggle to find oneself, to truly exist as an individual and not as a sponge or a marionette.

“Principles” by Danez Smith
Danez Smith is back in the Round-Up this week. Much like last week, Danez has gifted us with poetry that desperately needs to be read. There is a reason why Danez’s poetry is so poignant these days; hopefully, we can all learn something after reading his words.

“Speaking Into the World” by Eve Ewing
In this essay, Chicago-born poet Eve Ewing questions stigma about the legitimacy of slam poetry. Why categorize a poem as either a page poem or a slam poem? Is there a stigma against the act of performance? Read the essay and find out!

“The Glorious, Impossible Escape of Nelly and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is back this week with another beautiful essay. Once again, Hanif writes about the ways art can be used as a conduit for healing and hope in these trying times. This essay is a praise of the arts, specifically “art as spectacle, grand and risky enough to let me leave the sadness behind for two small hours.” Hanif’s debut book is officially released in two days; get your copy now!

“Jamila Woods Searches for ‘Heavn’ on Debut Album” by Brian Josephs
Poet, writer, and activist Jamila Woods recently released her first album, Heavn, featuring fellow Chicago based musicians like Chance the Rapper, Saba, and Donnie Trumpet. This article not only has an eloquent review by Brian Josephs, but also has the entire album on SoundCloud embedded right onto the page. Give it a listen and see if you agree with Josephs’ review.

And with that, we close out another week of poetry and poetry-adjacent wonders from across the internet. Check back with us next Saturday for a new, exciting installment!

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Spencer Brownstein is a poet, student, and Button staffer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves beanies, dogs, and a nice cigarette after dinner.

Button Round-Up 8

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This last week has been full of high highs and low lows throughout the world. Hopefully these links can help you find comfort in tragedy or excitement for the future. Regardless, the poetry is still beautiful and awesome! Enjoy!

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships Announcement
Let’s start this week by celebrating the success of young poets! On September 1st, the five winners of these two fellowships will be announced and awarded $25,800 each to pursue the study and writing of poetry. Among the finalists is Button author Sam Sax!

Voicemail Poems Summer 2016
Founded by jamie j. mortara in April, 2012, Voicemail Poems collects and shares poetry in a unique and lovely way. They set up a phone number (1-910-703-POEM) that anyone can call and record a poem over voicemail. Maybe you can be featured in their next compilation!

“It Doesn’t Feel Like A Time To Write” by Danez Smith
Though we have shared this piece in a previous Link Round-Up, considering the tragedies of the past week, we thought this poem needed to be shared again. Thank you Danez for this beautiful piece, and may Alton Sterling and Philando Castile rest in power.

“Houna Baghdad” by Jehan Bseiso
A few days ago ISIS bombed a busy street in Baghdad, Iraq, killing over 160 people. Days later, The Guardian released a map detailing every death by car bomb in Baghdad since 2003. Jehan Bseiso’s poem “Houna Baghdad” is a chilling piece both capturing the essence of such a tragedy and reminding readers that this is not a new phenomena, that things must change.

“Chicago’s Streetwise Poets are Breaking the Cycle of Violence and Pain in their Neighborhoods” by Demetrius Amparan
Demetrius Amparan is the Director of Publications and Communications at Young Chicago Authors, and organization that aids Chicago youths to find their voices through poetry. Work like Demetrius’ is a timely reminder that the next generations are still writing and finding ways to express and empower themselves and others. Check out Demetrius’ essay and learn more about Young Chicago Authors!

“Black Life on Film: Ice Cube and 25 Years of Boyz N The Hood” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib
Button author Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib wrote another essay for MTV this week covering his experience growing up with Ice Cube and Boyz N The Hood. Though neither the piece nor the film in question have a necessarily happy ending, there is still a sense of comfort knowing that there is still hope in loyalty and community, hope that has not vanished over the past quarter century.

Thanks for taking time out of your day to peruse poetry related things! It’s readers like you that make works like these possible. Check back with us next week for even more poetry related things from all around the internet!

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Spencer Brownstein is a poet, student, and Button staffer living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He loves beanies, dogs, and a nice cigarette after dinner.

Link Round-Up 7

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July is here! It’s a new month and poetry is still awesome. I know, big shock, right? With (hopefully) a long weekend to spend, here are some wonderful links for you to meander through.

SF Bart and LA Metro Got Into a Haiku Battle on Twitter – Poetry really is everywhere. In a brutal twitter fight, the transit systems for San Francisco and Los Angeles went at each other. It got pretty intense; LA even went after the still-fresh wounds of the NBA championship.

Two Micros by Ashlee Haze –In more bite-sized poetry news, here are two micros from Ashlee, Button YouTube favorite who was recently featured on the first track of Blood Orange’s new album, Freetown Sound. Here she uses the short form to clearly and sharply attack racism and sexism.

i be, but i ain’t review by Corrina Bain –Aziza Barnes, the original winner of the Exploding Pinecone chapbook prize here at Button, recently released her first full-length collection with YesYes books. The good folks at Muzzle wrote a wonderful review. If you’re the type of person who likes video tours and Google street views, this is the perfect review; Corrina guides you through the book, without giving away everything.

“A Decade After Prison, a Poet Studies for the Bar Exam” by Elisa Gonzalez – This profile of poet Reginald Dwayne Betts not only talks about his experience tying law into poetry as both a lawyer and a former prisoner, it talks about the ways in which society wants to consume black men’s experiences, but only certain narratives. I know I want to buy his books now, and I think you will too.

Commonplace Episode 2 ft. Nick Flynn – There’s something special about getting to hear a poet not just read their work, but talk about it. I find podcasts add a level of intimacy to an interview, or maybe just humanity. Nick Flynn is one of my favorite poets, and it was a joy to hear him talk about his latest poetry collection, My Feelings, which will be reviewed on our own website this month.

“Pearl & Ash” by Diana Keren Lee – For a lazy Sunday, a gorgeous, lilting poem that feels like a beautiful room in the summer. This is the first poem by Diana Keren Lee that I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Thanks for stopping by to spend a little time with us, and thank you to the brilliant folks out there trying to make sense, if not of violence, of what it takes to survive it. Take care of yourselves, drink water, and come back next week for more poetry updates.

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Anna Binkovitz is a poet and Button staffer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She loves pizza, red wine, and honest writing with a lyrical twist.

Link Round-Up 6

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Howdy friends! It’s been another great week in the world of poetry, and we are super excited to share some of the gems we stumbled upon online.

Three Poems by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib – That’s right, it is physically impossible to go one week without Hanif absolutely wrecking you with his brilliant writing. This week, it’s three poems up at Public Pool.

Beech Street Review –William James, Angelique Palmer, and Mckendy Fils-Aime are the editors of a brand new literary journal, and they just opened their submissions for the first quarterly issue! Looking for inspiration to send them a poem? Check out our writing prompt from Ollie Schminkey!

“All These Bodies” by Taylor Steele –I was lucky enough to see this poem performed live at Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Columbus, and trust me, you’re never going to be ready for this captivating and brilliant writing and performance. Thanks to fellow poetry org SlamFind for the awesome video!

Ten Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming, Gender Fluid, and Genderqueer Poets You Need to Hear – That’s right, in addition to writing and performing beautiful poems, Taylor also has a column over at Medium where she highlights the best of the best when it comes to poetry. This installment focuses on giving some credit to an often uncelebrated and erased part of the poetry community. Meet your new favorite poets!

“A Way of Thanking the Pig” by Emily O’Neill – Emily’s work has been published all over, and this poem about honoring the animals we eat appeared in the initial issue of Tap Lit magazine. If you want to get to know Emily more, you can check out her amazing review of Jay Deshpande’s “Love the Stranger” that she was kind enough to write for us last week.

Thanks for stopping by to spend a little time with us, and thank you to the brilliant folks out there trying to make sense, if not of violence, of what it takes to survive it. Take care of yourselves, drink water, and come back next week for more poetry updates.

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Anna Binkovitz is a poet and Button staffer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She loves pizza, red wine, and honest writing with a lyrical twist.