Holy wow, it’s been another great week in poetry! Take a look at some of the newest poems, essays, and lists floating around the internet:
Literary Juneteenth (or Why I Left the Offing) – This piece technically came out last week, but it is too important and too well-written to not feature. Casey Rocheteau explores some of the racial inequities and specific instances of ignorance that led her to leave the Offing. Intention can only take you so far, especially as an editor working for a magazine that seeks to uplift and empower marginalized voices.
“It Doesn’t Feel Like a Time to Write” – Button author Danez Smith, back at it again with the evocative, urgent poems. He presents readers with an honest portrait of exhaustion, of how a continual state of mourning and fear wears on black people in America. An especially important piece for those whose reaction to the murder of unarmed black people is to insist on more information, more calm reason from affected communities, more, more, more.
Three Poems by Rachel McKibbens – If you know Rachel’s work, you know she has two full-length collections and one chapbook already published (Pink Elephant, Into the Dark and Emptying Field, and Mammoth), and you are probably waiting anxiously for a third book. Here are a few poems from her third manuscript, published in Vinyl earlier this week. These poems vibrate with elegantly depicted pain, never melodramatic, but clear and tightly constructed.
Poetry Foundation Launches Poetry Incubator – Applications are open until June 1st for the first ever Poetry Incubator and Chicago Poetry Block Party. This is a three-day program meant to encourage professional development and collaboration for poets engaged with their communities. The weekend ends with a block party celebrating poetry, community, and Chicago. This is open to writers across the country, so get those applications in!
SPIT POET! 5 Poetry Collectives You Should Know – Taylor Steele, an amazing poet herself, is also writing a column highlighting emerging writers you should know about. In this piece, we get introduced to five poetry collectives, including Dark Noise and divine fabrics, two groups that include Button authors, Danez Smith and Aziza Barnes respectively. You get collective information, poems and interviews, everything you need to develop your love of these incredible talents.
DOGBYTES INTERVIEW: Camille Rankine – Author of Incorrect Merciful Impulses, (Copper Canyon Press 2016), Camille Rankine is interviewed in a new blog project from Cave Canem, an esteemed writing retreat for African-American writers. The interview covers her thoughts on the place of social justice in poetry, book recommendations, and the secret to driving in the snow.
Anna Binkovitz is a poet and Button staffer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She loves pizza, red wine, and honest writing with a lyrical twist.