“NOTHING CAN BRING YOU PEACE BUT YOURSELF.”-RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Chris L. Butler (sometimes C.L. Butler) is a Black American and Dutch poet, historian, essayist, scholar, audio/visual artist, retired freestyle rapper, activist, and entrepreneur. Born in West Philadelphia, he spent his adolescent years living and surviving in a cultural ‘Mecca’ of ’90s hip hop, graffiti, street art, and ‘Philly grit’—serving as a source of early inspiration.
Chris’ work touches on the intersections of Black North American existence as an American citizen, a descendant of African enslavement, an immigrant to Canada, and a person of color with European ancestry. In his work, these identities are often explored and interpreted through the subjects of popular culture, music, history, and politics. His poetry can be found in or forthcoming with Southern Florida Poetry Journal, CV2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry & Critical Writing, Alternating Current Press, Trampset, APIARY Magazine, Variant Literature, Perhappened Mag, and others. Chris is an avid reader and writes reviews for both The Poetry Question and NewPages. He is the Vice President of Think in Ink, the Associate Poetry Editor at Bending Genres, an Essays Reader at The Rumpus, and the Co-Deputy Editor at Afros in Tha City.
Chris is the author of the forthcoming chapbook, Melodies of the Oppressed (Nightingale & Sparrow Press, 2023) and two other chapbooks, Sacrilegious (Fahmidan Publishing & Co., 2021), and the Pushcart prize nominated micro chapbook BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID (Daily Drunk Press, 2021).
Chris is currently living and writing in Canada, while pursuing his entrepreneurial interests. He was the 2021 Kurt Brown Fellow for Diverse Voices at Pine Manor College. He is a graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown (B.S.), and Xavier University (A.A.).
-2022 Pushcart Prize, Nominee (Poetry)
-2022 Pushcart Prize, Nominee (CNF)
-2022 Best of the Net, Nominee (Poetry)
-2021 Metatron Press Rising Author Prize, Longlist
Manuscript: Take Me to the Water
-2021 Kurt Brown Diverse Voices Fellowship, Winner
-2021 Kissing Dynamite Poetry Micro-Chap Series, Longlist
Manuscript: Descendants of Emmett Till
-2021 Perhappened Press Chapbook Series, Finalist
Manuscript: Why I Kneel
-2021 Pushcart Prize, Nominee (Poetry)
-2020 Nightingale & Sparrow Press Chapbook Series, Selected Finalist
Manuscript: Melodies of the Oppressed
-2020 Inaugural Daily Drunk Press Micro Chapbook Contest, Winner
Manuscript: BLERD: ’80s BABY, ’90s KID
-2020 Fahmidan Publishing & Co. Open Reading Period, Finalist
Manuscript: Why I Kneel
-2020 HUES Foundation Virtual Writing Workshop, HUES Poetry Scholar
-2020 Palette Poetry BIPOC Workshop, Attendee
-2018 University of Houston-Downtown Center for Critical Race Studies, Semester Service Learning Scholar
-2014 Texas Service Corps, Episcopal Service Corps, Fellow
-2012 AmeriCorps VISTA Associate
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