YouTube Milestone!

The Button YouTube page just hit 300,000 subscribers, and 60,000,000 views! Thanks, as always, to all of our watchers, friends, supporters and artists for making this possible. To celebrate, check out our first video to ever go viral on the channel, Denice Frohman’s “Dear Straight People”.

If you haven’t yet, check out our most recent books in the Button Store!

2015 Button Poetry Books

We’re excited to announce our full 2015 publishing catalog!

Chapbooks by:

DANEZ SMITH (winner of the 2014 Button Poetry Prize)
CAM AWKWARD-RICH
JACQUI GERMAIN
MAHOGANY L. BROWNE
SIERRA DEMULDER

Full-length collections by:

HANIF ABDURRAQIB
NEIL HILBORN

We’re proud to welcome these writers to the team, joining our other great Button Poets. We’d like to once again thank everyone who submitted work to us over the course of this last year. We can’t wait to put these books out into the world. Keep an eye out for publication dates this spring!

2014 Chapbook Contest Winner

We’re excited to announce the winner of our 2014 chapbook contest: Danez Smith, for his manuscript, black movie.

Danez Smith is the recipient of a 2014 Ruth Lilly & Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from Poetry Magazine & The Poetry Foundation. He is also the recipient of fellowships from the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, VONA, & elsewhere. Danez is the author of [insert] Boy (YesYes Books, 2014) & the chapbook hands on ya knees (Penmanship books, 2013).

Congratulations to all our finalists! The competition was fierce–we received hundreds of awesome submissions this year. Huge thanks to Marcus Wicker for serving as our Final Judge, and thanks to everybody who submitted. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the announcement of the full list of books we’ll be publishing in 2015, and check out the Button Shop for our current library.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from all of us at Button!

We had an awesome 2014, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We published three awesome chapbooks, released our first album, reached 50,000,000 views and a quarter million subscribers on the Button YouTube, and traveled to eight states all across the country to film poetry.

We are so thankful to all of you for making this possible. Stay tuned for some big announcements to kick off 2015, including our forthcoming books!

Statement Following Twin Cities Community Meeting

On Sunday, October 26th, Button attended a Twin Cities community meeting organized by TruArtSpeaks and hosted by Juxtaposition Arts, addressing our organization’s recent actions in the Twin Cities, specifically our announcement of a prospective Educational Initiative.

 

Button would like to publicly recognize the historical and social implications of our actions, as they reflect a larger narrative of organizational oppressive practices. We are incredibly thankful for the people who put this meeting together, and all the community members who attended and shared their questions and perspectives. It was an educational and humbling experience. Button would like to once again apologize for the harm and hurt that our actions have caused members of the Twin Cities spoken word community, and the way in which our proposed Initiative supported a culture of privilege and injustice.

 

During and after the meeting, we had a number of constructive conversations with members of the community about positive steps moving forward. As suggested by TruArtSpeaks, Button is committed to undergoing a racial equity analysis and social justice training, and continuing to better educate the members of the Button team. Additionally, we are taking steps towards better communication within the organization, so that we can avoid these kinds of failures. Personally, I took a number of actions in haste and without consulting other members of the organization, and I am dedicated to correcting that mistake in the future.

 

As the Director, I am excited to continue this positive and respectful growth in our actions and engagement with the community. As an additional and specific action to create more possibility for dialogue and transparency, I will be holding regular, open hours at the Button office in the coming months, for anyone who would like to voice their comments or concerns or otherwise engage in dialogue with Button and myself. The first opportunity will be December 5th from 6-8pm at Button’s office at 1219 Marquette Suite 100 Minneapolis, MN 55403. Please stay tuned for additional information and times.

Sam Cook

Executive Director

Button Poetry

VIRAL E-Book Special Preview

Only two days until the release of Button’s first eBook! VIRAL features new and classic work from Lily Myers, Neil Hilborn, Javon Johnson, Rachel Rostad, Dylan Garity, Guante and Pages Matam. Today, we wanted to offer everyone a sneak preview of the book, with the foreword from Button Head Editor Michael Mlekoday. We might just be turning into a couple of softies, but we actually teared up reading this for the first time (and, you know, again right now).

-Sam & Dylan

Click here to read the foreword

VIRAL Poems Cover

Exploding Pinecone Chapbook Contest WINNER

Button Poetry and Exploding Pinecone Press are delighted to announce J. SCOTT BROWNLEE as the winner of our 2013 chapbook competition, judged by Rachel McKibbens. Brownlee’s chapbook, Highway or Belief, will be published this winter.

Stay tuned for more from Brownlee, and to find out the rest of our winter chapbook catalog.

J. SCOTT BROWNLEE is a Writers in the Public Schools Fellow at NYU, where he teaches poetry to undergraduates and fifth graders through the Teachers & Writers Collaborative. His work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, RATTLE, Beloit Poetry Journal, Nashville Review, Ninth Letter, BOXCAR Poetry Review, The Greensboro Review, Devil’s Lake, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, and elsewhere. A Pushcart nominated poet-of-place, Brownlee writes primarily about the people and landscape of rural Texas and is a founding member of The Localists, a new literary movement that emphasizes place-based writing of personal witness, cultural memory, and the aesthetically marginalized working-class, both in the United States and abroad. His book-length work, Disappearing Town, was named a finalist for the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Autumn Update

Hey Buttoneers,

Sam and Dylan here with what we hope will be the start of more regular updates! So the last few months have been pretty ridiculous here at Button. Word on the street is that we’ve gone viral! Our first few YouTube successes have become the foundation for a body of work totalling over 13 million views including Neil Hilborn’s “OCD”, the most viewed poetry performance on the internet (and thus anywhere, ever). We published our first book, Aziza Barnes’s me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, and hosted a release show for her in Minneapolis. We ran the second Exploding Pinecone Chapbook Contest, and traveled to Massachusetts, Nebraska and Texas to film poetry tournaments. And it’s only speeding up from here.

In the next few months, watch for more video, our first ever Ebook release, new books from new authors, more contests, entirely new products (maybe even sweaters!), and much more. Thanks to everyone for supporting us and this art form. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

-Sam & Dylan

D: Is buttoneers a pun on boutonnières? There’s really no reason for it to be. Our community are not tiny flowers.

S: Nah, I think it’s more like being a poetry buccaneer. Fans of poetry with snazzy boots.

D: As long as it’s not like being a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. ‘Cause they are bad at football. Sports reference. We’re not nerds.