Link Round-Up 5

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It’s been a heavy week, full of loss and pain. Thankfully, we have beautiful artists out there, doing important work to pull us through and give us new language to cope. This week’s round-up is for those mourning after the homophobic attack on Pulse club during their Latin Dance night in Orlando.

“Surviving on Small Joys” by Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib – Back at it again with a beautiful, urgent essay on surviving under oppression, Hanif talks about the value of momentary distraction, silly panda videos, and sharing space with others, even when the grief is too large to talk about.

Two Micros by Safia Elhillo –Micros, at their best, function as a poetic snapshot. In these two pieces, Safia offers us snapshots of grieving, and what it means to mourn in safe spaces and in hostile ones. If this is not enough eloquence on loss, check out her full feature set, “Alien Suite”, from CUPSI 2016 finals stage.

“Labor Day” by Sam Sax –Published in Guernica, Sam’s usual flowing style is turned to history, tracing the path of Labor Day, ending in one of the most gorgeous lines: “ any word / traced to its origin is a small boy begging for water.” Congrats to Sam on his forthcoming book bury it, due out next fall through Wesleyan University Press! You can check out his Button chapbook here.

“Restored Mural For Orlando” by Roy Guzman “…how for me a church is a roof that’s always collapsing.” An MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota, Roy grew up in Florida. This sweeping poem documents how the massacre, Orlando as a city, queerness, and what it is to be a POC intersected for him in this moment. It is a poem to hold grief, rage, and also the things that give us the power to keep living.

30 Over 30: Poet’s Edition by Jocelyn Mosman – If you’ve been to a poetry slam, you’ve probably heard the MC tell the audience about a man who founded poetry slam named Marc Smith and the audience response of “SO WHAT?” But who is this Marc Smith? Who were the folks originally competing in slam alongside him? Who are the current leaders and long-standing slammers around now? This list will tell you, with videos of each poet included.

Summer Classes at the Loft Literary Center – Summer session at Minneapolis’ finest writing center begins next week. Classes include The Art of Imitation, The Craft of Poetry, and more. Not a local? Fear not!! There are online opportunities as well.

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 4

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It’s been another great week in the world of poetry, and it just keeps getting better! Take a gander at some of these links to kick off your summery weekend.

Small Press Distribution Staff Picks – Button author Jacqui Germain’s new release, When the Ghosts Come Ashore, was selected by Small Press Distribution for their recommended books. Included is a review by Janice Worthen. Check it out, and then order yourself a copy from our online store!

BeHeard Team Send-Off Show, June 17th – For our local fans, BeHeard is the Twin Cities’ own youth slam team, and they are ridiculously talented. They are gearing up to head to the Brave New Voices national youth slam competition and festival in Washington D.C. and this is your chance to send them off right!

Maps For Teeth Submissions –If you’ve been jotting down pretty lines and are looking for an online home for them, Maps For Teeth has a solution for you! Submissions for this online literary magazine are open for one more week. Join the ranks of poets such as Melissa Newman-Evans, Adam Tedesco, and Noel Quinones.

Jamila Woods Gives Us #BlackGirlMagic Anthem – Jamila Woods is a member of the Dark Noise collective, and her work spans poetry and music. She recently released the video for her song “Blk Girl Soldier,” and the good folks over at the Black Youth Project did a brief write-up on the video, including links to other songs by Woods and an interview with her in Complex.

AWP Podcast Series Episode 121 – Recorded at the 2016 Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference in Los Angeles, this podcast features readings from Ross Gay, Tarfia Faizullah, Jamaal May, and others as a part of the 12 year anniversary reading of the Fishouse, an online audio library of emerging poets.

Redbone Stones by Mahogany Browne – Write About Now poetry, a slam and open mic venue in Houston, Texas, and one of our Button Live Supporters, took amazing video of this month’s Button Poetry Live feature and Button Author, Mahogany Browne, reading. So if you missed the livestream on Monday, here’s a chance to get your badass poetry performance fix!

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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 3

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There has been so much greatness in poetry this week, and we are bringing you the best from our hotel at the Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam. We can’t wait to share some of the poems we’ve been filming this weekend, but in the meantime, check out the links below!

Volume I Issue II from Black Napkin Press – This issue features work from a plethora of talented writers, including Siaara Freeman, whom you might know from the video of her poem, “The Drug Dealer’s Daughter.” Siaara has an incredibly strong voice, wielding her vulnerability with impeccable skill. “My father is dead / at my wedding. / He is a slow dance of bullets/.”

“Reasons It’s Important to Rest” by Franny Choi – Poem by Franny, video by Tess Brown-Lavoie. Some poems are best experienced in video form, but not the traditional shot of a poet behind a microphone. This is a poem like that, with a beautiful video to match its changing structure and natural movement.

7 More Dope Black Women Poets You Need to Know –This incredible list from Black Girl with Long Hair briefly introduces you to seven amazing black female poets currently putting in work and putting out beautiful pieces. Included is Aja Monet, the finals stage feature form College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in 2015.

How Saul Williams Found Courage by Scott Timberg – In the history of poetry slams, Saul Williams is one of the most important and influential names around. In addition to being a poet and spoken word artist, Saul is a rapper and musician. Here is an excellent interview about his new song “Think Like They Book Say,” in which he talks about his own experience of sexuality, and some of his influences.

English Teacher Re-Titles Classic Poems as Clickbait… – When I first started attending poetry slams, I thought I could never like “classic” poems, and so I didn’t give them a chance, until college literature classes made me. Then I realized my mistake. In an effort to help some students do the same, one teacher came up with pretty hilarious titles for poems by Emily Dickinson, William Carlos Williams, and more. Take a look and see if you think the titles change your perception!

Summer Online Writer’s Workshop from Winter Tangerine  Applications close on June 15th for this incredible workshop opportunity. With a focus on getting past your internal editor and writing boldly, this workshop provides a more affordable and travel-free alternative to writing retreats. Some of the guest facilitators include Button author Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, Dark Noise collective member Franny Choi, and prize-winning author Safia Elhillo. Get those applications in!

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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 2

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Holy wow, it’s been another great week in poetry! Take a look at some of the newest poems, essays, and lists floating around the internet:

Literary Juneteenth (or Why I Left the Offing) – This piece technically came out last week, but it is too important and too well-written to not feature. Casey Rocheteau explores some of the racial inequities and specific instances of ignorance that led her to leave the Offing. Intention can only take you so far, especially as an editor working for a magazine that seeks to uplift and empower marginalized voices.

“It Doesn’t Feel Like a Time to Write” – Button author Danez Smith, back at it again with the evocative, urgent poems. He presents readers with an honest portrait of exhaustion, of how a continual state of mourning and fear wears on black people in America. An especially important piece for those whose reaction to the murder of unarmed black people is to insist on more information, more calm reason from affected communities, more, more, more.

Three Poems by Rachel McKibbens – If you know Rachel’s work, you know she has two full-length collections and one chapbook already published (Pink Elephant, Into the Dark and Emptying Field, and Mammoth), and you are probably waiting anxiously for a third book. Here are a few poems from her third manuscript, published in Vinyl earlier this week. These poems vibrate with elegantly depicted pain, never melodramatic, but clear and tightly constructed.

Poetry Foundation Launches Poetry Incubator – Applications are open until June 1st for the first ever Poetry Incubator and Chicago Poetry Block Party. This is a three-day program meant to encourage professional development and collaboration for poets engaged with their communities. The weekend ends with a block party celebrating poetry, community, and Chicago. This is open to writers across the country, so get those applications in!

SPIT POET! 5 Poetry Collectives You Should Know – Taylor Steele, an amazing poet herself, is also writing a column highlighting emerging writers you should know about. In this piece, we get introduced to five poetry collectives, including Dark Noise and divine fabrics, two groups that include Button authors, Danez Smith and Aziza Barnes respectively. You get collective information, poems and interviews, everything you need to develop your love of these incredible talents.

DOGBYTES INTERVIEW: Camille Rankine – Author of Incorrect Merciful Impulses, (Copper Canyon Press 2016), Camille Rankine is interviewed in a new blog project from Cave Canem, an esteemed writing retreat for African-American writers. The interview covers her thoughts on the place of social justice in poetry, book recommendations, and the secret to driving in the snow.

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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

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Hi, hello and welcome to the new Button Poetry weekly link round-up! We’ll be scouring the internet, finding the coolest news in poetry, spoken word, and the Minneapolis-Saint Paul literary world. As we kick things off, it’s impossible to miss the fact that we are now a month out from losing the Purple One, Prince. We’d like to dedicate this week’s post to him, featuring some great content speaking to his legacy.

The Night Prince Walked On Water – Last month over at MTV, Button author Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib decided to bless us with this tribute to Prince, and his famous half-time performance.

Purple Elegy – Featured in the Paris Review, this striking, concentrated elegy by Rowan Ricardo Phillips bridges the space between the music of Prince and the music of the page.

The Poetry Gods – This is a new project created by Jon Sands, Jose Olivarez, and Button author Aziza Barnes. While every single episode is the coolest party you’ve ever dreamed of being invited to, we especially recommend listening to Episode 5, featuring Josh Bennett and some reflections on the poetics of physics.

Lit Crawl MN – A special heads-up to our Twin Cities dwellers! On June 4th, the first ever Lit Crawl MN will be taking place in various Minneapolis venues. Expect shenanigans from Coffeehouse Press, The Loft Literary Center, and our dear friends in performance poetry, Wordsprout. And that is just the beginning!

Lessons From Indie Poetry Presses: Poetry 2016 – Button was honored with a shout-out in this article discussing the special challenges and opportunities of running a small press. Not only do you get to hear from our editor, Michael Mlekoday, you can also learn about other great presses out there and the amazing artists they work with.

These Are the Biggest Misconceptions About College Women – In case you didn’t know, Button YouTube regular Crystal Valentine is amazing. She was named one of Glamour’s “College Women of the Year.” Here is a piece in which Crystal and some other amazing young women speak to their experiences as students, activists, and awesome people.

Slam Camp: A Performance Poetry Intensive – Are you or do you know a poet in high school? Then do yourselves and them favor and take a look at this summer camp. Run by Button author Sierra DeMulder and Adam Henze, this camp gives young writers a chance to work with some of the best poets in the game; Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Hieu Nguyen, G Yamazawa, and more!

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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.