Sam Van Cook
Sam Van Cook is the Founder and President of Button Poetry. He is a recipient of the 2012 Verve Grant, a National Poetry Slam champion, a decorated College Slam coach.
Sam has worked with students nationwide as a Poetry instructor and Performance Poetry coach. He helped found and establish Spoken Word Poetry programs in colleges across Minnesota including Carleton, the U of M, Hamline, MCTC and Macalester. Most notably, Sam spent 4 years as an instructor for Macalester College, coaching and coordinating their championship College Union Spoken Word Invitational (CUPSI) Poetry Slam program. The students Van Cook coached, won the tournament, appeared on numerous final stages and won awards and accolades including Association of College Unions International’s highest award – the “Best Individual Poet”, five years running.
Additionally, Sam was the Director of the two-time national champion St. Paul Soap Boxing Poetry Slam (2009 & 2010) that ran for many years out of The Artists Quarter in St. Paul. He also helped bring the national poetry slam to downtown St Paul in 2010.
Sam is committed to reaching out to folks of all ages in Minnesota and nationwide through poetry, performance and a deep love for tomfoolery.