The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Release: Abbie Shaine

The+cover+photo+of+Shain%E2%80%99s+new+book.+Photo+courtesy+of+Abbie+Shain.
The cover photo of Shain’s new book. Photo courtesy of Abbie Shain.
The cover photo of Shain’s new book. Photo courtesy of Abbie Shain.
The cover photo of Shain’s new book. Photo courtesy of Abbie Shain.

Abbie Shain ’14 released a poetry chapbook entitled “Sweet Ache” on Monday night during the St. Paul Poetry Slam. The junior has been a fixture on the Macalester slam team since her first year and is currently the organization’s chair. Over the past three years, she has been writing poetry and she published the book through local printing press Button Poetry. On choosing to work with Button, she writes, “I decided to publish with Button because it’s an up-and-coming performance press that recorded me on a CD when I was just starting writing and performing my first year.”

Her work with Button extends beyond her own artistic endeavors. This semester she is interning with the press where she helps to manage its media presence, sell books and CDs on their website, and publish new books and recordings. Button Poetry is a partnership between Sam Cook, the Director of the Soap Boxing Poetry Slam in St. Paul, Michael Mlekoday, the Poetry Editor of the Indiana Review, and Dylan Garity ’12. Though the publisher is relatively small, Shain writes that seeing “all of these poems that I’d written fit together in a larger context as a book was amazing.”

Photo courtesy of Sara Staszak.
Photo courtesy of Sara Staszak.
As part of the book release, Shain was the feature poet during the St. Paul Slam. The event was attended by many in the Twin Cities slam community as well as many of Shain’s Macalester friends. The feature poet during a slam does not compete and is not regulated by the rules of slam poetry. At the event, Shain performed many of the poems in her book as well as slam poems she is well known for on the college slam circuit. During her set she read two poems about the same topic as a way of showcasing the advantages of featuring as well as the versatility of her poetry. Shain first read a sonnet about the history of cancer in her family, but followed with a more traditional slam piece on the same topic.

Asked how she would describe the contents of the book, Shain wrote that the poems are meant to “celebrate the joy in grief” and to investigate “what it means to inherit a body after a legacy of cancer. Basically, everyone in my family has died of cancer, and this book is me dealing with that. But it’s also about joy and memory and grief and love and dead squirrels. In some ways, I’ve been writing this for my whole life.”

View Comments (3)
More to Discover

Comments (3)

All The Mac Weekly Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • R

    Robert VanceSep 11, 2019 at 2:01 am

    some truly interesting points you have written.

    Reply
  • J

    Joanne EdmundsSep 8, 2019 at 2:45 am

    My boss is as well eager of YouTube humorous videos, he also watch these even in place of work hehehe..

    Reply