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.