Jacqui Germain – “How America Loves Ferguson Tweets More than the City of Ferguson”

Performing at Southern Fried

“Thank god for the internet, how we’ve taught ourselves to play mortician with each new name we are given, to pinpoint a single faulty organ, mistake it for the whole body, neglect to even ask the bones for a name.”

Don’t miss this amazing poem from Jacqui Germain, performing at the 2016 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Slam in Columbus, OH. Check out Jacqui’s brilliant book here.
While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out all 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.

Button Round-Up 10

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It’s the weekend, so you know what that means. The Button Round-Up is back with another exciting installment! Dive with us into the magical world of the poetry-related internet.

Buzzwords Poetry Competition 2016
This one’s for our fans across the pond! Our own Chapbook Contest is now in full swing (and open to international submitters!), but the Buzzwords Poetry Competition can be a great way to submit your poems if you don’t have a full manuscript and are living in the UK. Submissions close on August 7th.

Poet Activist Spotlight: Jacqui Germain
One of Button’s newest authors, Jacqui Germain, recently did a wonderful interview with Stevie Edwards from Ploughshares at Emerson College. Jacqui speaks about her own poetic influences and her work as a community organizer and activist. Don’t forget to check out Jacqui’s book, When the Ghosts Come Ashore, after you read this interview!

“Why Poetry is the Best Medium for Kids Who Want to Change the World” by Ketherine Brooks
Last week was the 19th annual Brave New Voices festival, featuring over 500 kids from 55 cities participating in the poetry slam tournament. Featuring Button author Danez Smith, this article goes on to affirm the positive benefits of youth slams and young kids expressing themselves through spoken word poetry.

If you are a young poet still trying to figure out your way into spoken word, then Verbalise is just for you! Starting next week in Birmingham, Verbalise is a four-week program offering classes and one-on-one mentoring that can give you the tools to launch your own career in spoken word poetry. It’s not too late to sign up!

“On Continuing the Work of Who Carried Us Here” by Hanif Abdurraqib
Celebrating the release of his debut book The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, Button author Hanif Abdurraqib is back in this week’s Round-Up with another essay. Unlike the past two weeks, with his regular music features, Hanif is reflecting on the release of his book, and how to be thankful to and honor those who have made it possible to get where he is today. Writing more a love letter than an essay, Hanif is back with his usual brilliance.

“for lee buencamino” by Mae Verano
To close out this week’s Round-Up, here is a short but sweet poem by Mae Verano. A member of the Brown 2016 CUPSI team, Mae Verano’s “for lee buencamino” is haunting in it’s brevity. “how lucky am i to speak your words / savor that same story / and still stand here / existing.” How lucky we all are to have this piece this weekend.

That’s all for this week, folks. I hope you’ve enjoyed your time here, and read something that will make some kind of impact, no matter how small, on your week moving forward. See you next Saturday!

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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.

Button Poetry Update 7/21/2016

Button Poetry Update 7/21/2016
Hey Button fans!
We’re here to give you an update on some of the exciting stuff that’s been happening in the last few months at Button, as well as what you can look forward to in the near future.

First of all, we’re thrilled to announce that alongside this year’s 5th Annual Button Poetry / Exploding Pinecone Chapbook Contest, we’re launching the first ever Button Poetry video contest, where anyone can submit their own video for a chance to be run by Button! Over the last year, we’ve increasingly realized the limited nature of our film work: we can only really film poets in specific physical spaces where we’re present each year. We intend for this to be the first of many opportunities for people around the world to get on the ever-larger digital stage for poetry. Both contests are now open for submission; you can check out all the details here.
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Button Poetry Live has been running strong, packing out CAMP Bar in Saint Paul every single month (we had to turn away over 50 people at our last show, so if you’re in the Twin Cities, get your tickets EARLY for the July 29th team send-off show). We’re so thankful to all the supporters who helped fund our Kickstarter Campaign last year to get the matching grant from Knight Foundation. In addition to the amazing poems we’ve been filming and running on the Button channel, we’ve also been livestreaming the show to thousands of viewers each month. Keep an eye out on our social media (or sign up for our mailing list) to stay up to date on the next one!

Speaking of Button Poetry Live, we’ve been churning out new audio albums over at the Button Poetry Bandcamp! Our “Best of Button” series highlights the top poems from YouTube each month, while the “Button Poetry Live” series offers exclusive tracks and live material available only on the album. Check it all out here, and subscribe to get our full back catalog and all new releases, as well as exclusive subscriber-only content.

Finally, in June and July we’re celebrating two major book releases, with Jacqui Germain’s chapbook When the Ghosts Come Ashore released June 7th, and Hanif Willis Abdurraqib’s full-length debut, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much, released earlier this week. Hanif’s book has already reached the #2 spot on the Small Press Distribution bestsellers list (you can find some other familiar titles there as well!) and #1 in new literature on Amazon!
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That’s all for now. We hope you’re enjoying your summer, and we can’t wait to share some more big news with you all soon.
-The Button Team