Best of Button Week 18

“She says, ‘funerals are like birthday parties, except better. No one wastes money on presents, and everyone dresses up for the theme.’ ”

Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the hottest recent videos on the channel. Updated every week! Today’s additions: Maxine Wright, Phil Kaye, Darius Simpson, Scout Bostley, and Matt Coonan. Congratulations poets!

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