Kai Davis – “Dear Chief Keef” (100K Views!)

“How can you even enjoy the tender caress of a young maiden when you can’t even brush against her without your ashy nipples igniting a fire in her baby hairs?”

Congratulations to Kai Davis on topping 100,000 views on this hilarious poem! Check out another great video featuring Kai here.
And while you’re here, make sure to check out our books and merch as well, including our awesome t-shirts and poster and new books by Jacqui Germain and Hanif Abdurraqib!

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 Abdurraqib
Button author Hanif 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.

Best of Button Week 71


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“The car of my body just won’t start, and I’m slamming on the dashboard waiting for some kind of spark.”
Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Ollie Schminkey & Sara Brickman. Congratulations poets!
While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including books by Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn and our JUST-RELEASED book from Jacqui Germain!

Rudy Francisco – “My Honest Poem” (100K Views!)

“My hobbies include editing my life story, hiding behind metaphors, and trying to convince my shadow I’m someone worth following.”

Congratulations to Rudy Francisco on topping 100,000 views on his poem! You can check out this performance with an exclusive intro on our Button Poetry Live EP I, and watch more videos of Rudy here and here.
And while you’re here, make sure to check out our books and merch as well, including our awesome t-shirts and poster and new books by Jacqui Germain and Hanif Abdurraqib!

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.

Best of Button Week 70


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“My vanity’s insanity unless it helps get you off.”
Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Shay Alexi Stewart & Mercedez Holtry. Congratulations poets!
While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including books by Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn and our JUST-RELEASED book from Jacqui Germain!

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 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.