Crystal Valentine – “I Am Black Before Woman in February” (Button Live)

Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“I am Black before woman in February, woman before Black on Sundays, queer before Black on Pride Day.”

Don’t miss this powerful poem from Crystal Valentine, performing at Button Poetry Live.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Sabrina Benaim, Neil Hilborn, Andrea Gibson, Blythe Baird, Desireé Dallagiacomo, & our newest release from Dave Harris!

Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad – “Hide Your Shea Butter” (250K Views!)

“It’s not just that you take what we create, it’s that it always gets
lost in translation.”

Congratulations to Crystal & Aaliyah on topping 250,000 views on this marvelous poem. Watch more from Crystal and Aaliyah here.



And while you’re here, make sure to check out our other books and merch as well, including our awesome t-shirts and poster and books by Jacqui Germain, Hanif Abdurraqib, Olivia Gatwood, and Aaron Coleman!

Crystal Valentine – “And the News Reporter Says Jesus Is White” (250K Views!)

“How can you say Jesus was a white man when he died the blackest way possible? With his hands up, with his mother watching.”

Congratulations to Crystal on topping 250,000 views on this incredible poem. Check out more from Crystal here and here.



And while you’re here, make sure to check out our other books and merch as well, including our awesome t-shirts and poster and new books by Jacqui Germain, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Aaron Coleman!

Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad – “To Be Black and Woman and Alive” (500K Views!)

“To be woman and black is to be born knowing
your beauty does not belong to you.”

Congratulations to Crystal & Aaliyah on topping 500,000 views on this amazing poem. Check out another collaboration between the two poets here.



And while you’re here, make sure to check out our other books and merch as well, including our awesome t-shirts and poster and new books by Jacqui Germain, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Aaron Coleman!

Best of 2016 #5: Crystal Valentine – “And the News Reporter Says Jesus Is White”

Best of 2016 #5:
Crystal Valentine – “And the News Reporter Says
Jesus Is White”

“How can she say Jesus was a white man when he died
the blackest way possible? With his hands up,
with his mother watching.”

Heading into the new year, we’re counting down the top-viewed videos on Button from 2016! Coming in fifth on the list, “And the News Reporter Says Jesus Is White” by Crystal Valentine. Congratulations Crystal!

Note: This countdown list only covers a small fraction of the brilliant artists who let us share their work on our channel this year, and is by no means a definitive list of the “best” poems, simply the ones that got the most views. Take some time and check out more from the past year on our channel!


Best of 2016 #8: Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad – “Hide Your Shea Butter”

Best of 2016 #8:
Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad – “Hide Your Shea Butter”

“It’s not that we don’t trust white people. It’s that y’all
really think my black looks better on you.”

Heading into the new year, we’re counting down the top-viewed videos on Button from 2016! Coming in eighth on the list, “Hide Your Shea Butter” by Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad. Congratulations poets!

Note: This countdown list only covers a small fraction of the brilliant artists who let us share their work on our channel this year, and is by no means a definitive list of the “best” poems, simply the ones that got the most views. Take some time and check out more from the past year on our channel!


Crystal Valentine & Aaliyah Jihad – “Hide Your Shea Butter” (CUPSI 2016)

Performing at CUPSI 2016.

“It’s not just that you take what we create, it’s that it always gets
lost in translation.”

Don’t miss this excellent poem from Crystal Valentine and Aaliyah Jihad, performing at the 2016 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. You can check out more from Crystal and Aaliyah here, here and here.
While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including Button t-shirts in both female and unisex cuts, and books and more by many of your favorite Button artists.

Link Round-Up

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Hi, hello and welcome to the new Button Poetry weekly link round-up! We’ll be scouring the internet, finding the coolest news in poetry, spoken word, and the Minneapolis-Saint Paul literary world. As we kick things off, it’s impossible to miss the fact that we are now a month out from losing the Purple One, Prince. We’d like to dedicate this week’s post to him, featuring some great content speaking to his legacy.

The Night Prince Walked On Water – Last month over at MTV, Button author Hanif Abdurraqib decided to bless us with this tribute to Prince, and his famous half-time performance.

Purple Elegy – Featured in the Paris Review, this striking, concentrated elegy by Rowan Ricardo Phillips bridges the space between the music of Prince and the music of the page.

The Poetry Gods – This is a new project created by Jon Sands, Jose Olivarez, and Button author Aziza Barnes. While every single episode is the coolest party you’ve ever dreamed of being invited to, we especially recommend listening to Episode 5, featuring Josh Bennett and some reflections on the poetics of physics.

Lit Crawl MN – A special heads-up to our Twin Cities dwellers! On June 4th, the first ever Lit Crawl MN will be taking place in various Minneapolis venues. Expect shenanigans from Coffeehouse Press, The Loft Literary Center, and our dear friends in performance poetry, Wordsprout. And that is just the beginning!

Lessons From Indie Poetry Presses: Poetry 2016 – Button was honored with a shout-out in this article discussing the special challenges and opportunities of running a small press. Not only do you get to hear from our editor, Michael Mlekoday, you can also learn about other great presses out there and the amazing artists they work with.

These Are the Biggest Misconceptions About College Women – In case you didn’t know, Button YouTube regular Crystal Valentine is amazing. She was named one of Glamour’s “College Women of the Year.” Here is a piece in which Crystal and some other amazing young women speak to their experiences as students, activists, and awesome people.

Slam Camp: A Performance Poetry Intensive – Are you or do you know a poet in high school? Then do yourselves and them favor and take a look at this summer camp. Run by Button author Sierra DeMulder and Adam Henze, this camp gives young writers a chance to work with some of the best poets in the game; Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Hieu Nguyen, G Yamazawa, and more!

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Anna Binkovitz is a poet and Button staffer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She loves pizza, red wine, and honest writing with a lyrical twist.

Crystal Valentine – “Black Privilege” (500K views!)

Crystal countdown post

“Black privilege is me having already memorized my nephew’s eulogy, my brother’s eulogy, my father’s eulogy, my unconceived child’s eulogy.”

Congratulations to Crystal Valentine on topping 500,000 views on YouTube! See more of her work herehere, and here.

Make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store!

Best of Button Week 48

Crystal Valentine Fox News Best of Button

“Will it reimburse me for my cousin’s casket? Will it unbury his body? Will it remove his name from a tombstone?”

Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button Playlist, featuring the hottest recent videos on the Button YouTube channel. Updated every week! Today’s additions: Crystal Valentine, Johnny Osi, Sean Mulroy & RJ Walker. Congratulations poets!

Make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store!