Once again, not a great year, in terms of the world. But I was able to be part of some cool stuff, and am endlessly grateful for everyone who helped make that possible. Here’s a quick recap (and you can find my other end-of-year recaps here) of some of the stuff of mine that people may have missed:
1. Button Poetry Re-Released My Book
Thanks again to everyone who has picked this up, read it, used it in classes, etc. Still blown away by the response. You can still get it here, and an audio version is on the way!
2. Guante & Big Cats: War Balloons
Proud of this album. Ever-grateful to Big Cats, Lydia Liza, and Tony the Scribe for helping to make it happen. If you missed it, I think it’s some of my best work. You can listen to the whole thing here, and consider buying it if you like it:
Oh and for people new to our music (since this is the first project we’ve released in years), here’s a retrospective mix featuring some of our best older songs too. You can also order a t-shirt featuring some cool designs juxtaposed with my lyrics.
3. New Poetry Videos
Some of these are brand new poems, written just this year; others are old favorites for which we captured some more polished footage. All of these performances are from my book’s release show, a sold out night at Icehouse in Minneapolis; thank you to everyone who came through.
4. New Zine: “How Do We Build a Culture of Consent?”
This little booklet comes from asking that question in spaces all over the country (which is part of what I do for a living) and listening to the responses of advocates, survivors, activists, and educators.
With the help of some partners, we got this zine into the hands of thousands of people this year. Lots of concrete action ideas and resources for further study; read the whole thing online and/or download a PDF of the zine version.
5. An Ongoing Writing Project: Deep Dives into Individual Poems
The idea behind this project was to have an archive not just of spoken word poems, but of analysis and commentary that might be useful to aspiring/emerging poets. There just don’t seem to be an over-abundance of spaces to “talk shop” with regards to spoken word specifically, especially for people who may not have access to workshops and classes. I did some of these through Button, and some just on my own as a “Poem of the Month” feature, and the link is now full of fantastic poems, plus some thoughts on technique related to each one.
6. Other Writing
A few other things I wrote or where part of writing this year:
- Poems, Links, and Resources RE: The Connections Between Masculinity and Violence
- An interview with The Reading List where I shared some book recommendations.
- For People Who Aren’t Usually “Political” but Know that Something Very Wrong is Happening Right Now
- A Few Thoughts on “Political” Poetry and How Artists Can Respond to the Present Moment
- Pressure on the Wound: Why I Vote
- An interview with me in the UMN Alumni Magazine.