Button Round-Up 9

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Hello, hello, hello! Welcome back to Button’s Round-Up, your friendly collection of poems, essays, and more from around the web. Dive on in, I’m sure you’ll read something here that will pique your interest this weekend!

A Reading List for America by Maira Liriano
This week, in response to the current racial tension in America, the New York Public Library has released a reading list to help foster literacy of the Black American experience. The body of works is diverse; hopefully you can find time to read them all!

“& O, bright star of disaster, I have been lit.” by Franny Choi
Often seen on the Button YouTube channel and always a brilliant poet, Franny Choi had a poem featured in The Paris-American this week. After, Lo Kwa Mei-En, Franny’s piece is a representation of struggle to find oneself, to truly exist as an individual and not as a sponge or a marionette.

“Principles” by Danez Smith
Danez Smith is back in the Round-Up this week. Much like last week, Danez has gifted us with poetry that desperately needs to be read. There is a reason why Danez’s poetry is so poignant these days; hopefully, we can all learn something after reading his words.

“Speaking Into the World” by Eve Ewing
In this essay, Chicago-born poet Eve Ewing questions stigma about the legitimacy of slam poetry. Why categorize a poem as either a page poem or a slam poem? Is there a stigma against the act of performance? Read the essay and find out!

“The Glorious, Impossible Escape of Nelly and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra” by Hanif Abdurraqib
Hanif Abdurraqib is back this week with another beautiful essay. Once again, Hanif writes about the ways art can be used as a conduit for healing and hope in these trying times. This essay is a praise of the arts, specifically “art as spectacle, grand and risky enough to let me leave the sadness behind for two small hours.” Hanif’s debut book is officially released in two days; get your copy now!

“Jamila Woods Searches for ‘Heavn’ on Debut Album” by Brian Josephs
Poet, writer, and activist Jamila Woods recently released her first album, Heavn, featuring fellow Chicago based musicians like Chance the Rapper, Saba, and Donnie Trumpet. This article not only has an eloquent review by Brian Josephs, but also has the entire album on SoundCloud embedded right onto the page. Give it a listen and see if you agree with Josephs’ review.

And with that, we close out another week of poetry and poetry-adjacent wonders from across the internet. Check back with us next Saturday for a new, exciting installment!

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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.