Melissa Newman-Evans – “9 Things I Would Like to Tell to Every Teenage Girl” (500K Views!)

“The world is trying to kill you. It is trying to do this by stealing your voice.”

Congratulations to Melissa on topping 500,000 views on this wonderful poem. Watch more Melissa here and here.

Want to have your video featured on Button Poetry? Video submissions are open NOW, August 1st – September 15th!



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, Donte Collins, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim!

In-Depth Look: Sam Sax – “Written to be Yelled at Trump Tower…”

In-Depth Look: Sam Sax – “Written to be Yelled at Trump Tower…”

Appreciating poetry is often about patience: sitting with a poem, meditating on it, and re-reading it multiple times. With spoken word, we don’t always get a chance to do that. This series is about taking that chance, and diving a little deeper into some of the new poems going up on Button.

“Every poem I have ever written is trying to get closer to the people I have lost.”
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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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The other day, poets Clint Smith and Eve Ewing engaged in a couple of great Twitter threads about the politics of being labeled a “spoken word poet” or a “poet.” This is an age when more and more artists from the slam scene are finding success in the realms of publishing and academia, but the distinction has always been muddy. So many of spoken word culture’s brightest stars– Patricia Smith, Saul Williams, Bao Phi, and beyond– are also award-winning page poets; the next generation is already continuing that trend.

Sam Sax embodies this as well as anyone. As a poet, he’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, & The MacDowell Colony. His new book, Madness, is the winner of The National Poetry Series selected by Terrance Hayes; his upcoming second book, Bury It, is the Winner of the 2017 James Laughlin Award from The Academy of American Poems.

But Sax is also a striking performer. This poem, exploring intersections of capitalism, artistic expression, exploitation, and loss, is already so tightly constructed and consistent in terms of its imagery and thesis; the performance, though, particularly through Sax’s intentionality around tempo and rising/falling tension, adds further layers. While the stereotype that spoken word is about using performance to make up for flat writing will likely persist, Sax shows that at its best, spoken word and slam poetry are about artists using performance to give their already-powerful writing added texture, depth, and meaning.

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While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including Guante’s own book, as well as titles by Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim.

Joseph Capehart – “America Diss Track” (100K)

“America, I didn’t wanna have to do this, but you left me with no other options.”

Congratulations to Joseph on topping 100,000 views on this great poem. Check out more videos from Joseph here and here.

Want your video featured on Button Poetry? 2017 Video Submission are open NOW – September 15th.



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, Donte Collins, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim!

In-Depth Look: Dave Harris – “To the Extent…”

In-Depth Look: Dave Harris – “To the Extent…”

Appreciating poetry is often about patience: sitting with a poem, meditating on it, and re-reading it multiple times. With spoken word, we don’t always get a chance to do that. This series is about taking that chance, and diving a little deeper into some of the new poems going up on Button.

“I say my anger is my greatest joy, and I become a heaven on fire.”
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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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One of poetry’s most important functions is to communicate ideas in ways that honor their complexity. Speeches, academic papers, or thinkpieces don’t generally capture what this poem captures in terms of the relationships between hope and fear, resistance and rage, empathy (in a critical sense) and spite. These juxtapositions play out not just in the poem’s substance, but in Harris’ delivery as well– it’s subtle, but note how the poem “moves.” From the first line to the last line, while the overall volume/tone doesn’t shift much, the emotional charge builds and builds, finally setting up the devastating repetition of “I hope” lines that close the piece.

For further exploration, check out Marc Lamont Hill discussing Keith Scott on Democracy Now: “The Weapon Will Always Be Black Bodies.” Scholar of The Great Migration Wallace Best takes that idea beyond interpersonal interactions with “The Fear of Black Bodies in Motion.”

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While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including Guante’s own book, as well as titles by Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim.

Best of Button Week 128

“I sat there, let her read me like a manual, each second a page to learn how this machine body worked.”



Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Dylan Garity and Jose Soto. Congratulations poets!

Wait no more! Sabrina Benaim’s debut book, Depression & Other Magic Tricks, is now available!

While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including books by Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim.

Blythe Baird – “Pocket-Sized Feminism” (500K Views!)

“How am I to forgive myself for doing nothing in the mouth of trauma? Is silence not an act of violence too?”

Congratulations to Blythe on topping 500,000 views on this magnificent poem. Watch more from Blythe here and here.

Want to have your video featured on Button Poetry? Video submissions are open NOW, August 1st – September 15th!



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, Donte Collins, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim!

Best of Button Week 127

“The hardest thing I ever did was take a shower.”



Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Jared Singer, Anna Marie, Olivia Gatwood, & Paul Tran. Congratulations poets!

Wait no more! Sabrina Benaim’s debut book, Depression & Other Magic Tricks, is now available!

While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including books by Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn and our new book from
Donte Collins!

Melissa Lozada-Oliva & Jonathan Mendoza – “Date My Mom!” (100K Views!)

“My mom does not need to make space for you, but if you’re cool enough, maybe she will. Can you handle her cool?”

Congratulations to Melissa and Jonathan on topping 100,000 views on this great poem. Check out more videos from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & Jonathan Mendoza here and here.

Watch out for Melissa’s forthcoming book from Button Poetry, Peluda, pre-order your copy today!



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, Donte Collins, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim!

Cassidy Foust – “The Knife That Carves” (250K Views!)

“But I’ve been learning this for years. My body, feast. Her body, feast. My body, never the knife that carves it. I may not crack the bone, but I do drink the marrow.”

Congratulations to Cassidy on topping 250,000 views on this great poem. Check out more videos from Cassidy Foust here and here.

Want to have your video featured on Button Poetry? Video submissions are open NOW, August 1st – September 15th!



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 our newest release from Donte Collins!

Kevin Kantor – “A Letter from Cancer” (250K Views!)

“Breathe with me, bleed out with me. We will waste away together.”

Congratulations to Kevin on topping 250,000 views on this sensational poem. Check out more videos from Kevin Kantor here and here.

Want to have your video featured on Button Poetry? Video submissions are open NOW, August 1st – September 15th!



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 our newest release from Donte Collins!