Poets

By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, Button Poetry hopes to broaden poetry’s audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.

Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie

Akosua Zimba Afiriyie-Hwedie is a Zambian-Ghanaian poet who grew up in Botswana. She holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan. She is the author of Born in a Second Language, winner of Button Poetry’s 2019… MORE

Junious ‘Jay’ Ward

Junious “Jay” Ward is a poet living in Charlotte, NC, and the author of Sing Me a Lesser Wound (Bull City Press). Jay is a National Poetry Slam champion, an Individual World Poetry Slam champion, and Charlotte’s inaugural… MORE

Darius Simpson

Darius Simpson is a writer, educator, performer, and skilled living room dancer from Akron, Ohio. Much like the means of production, he believes poetry belongs to and with the masses. He aims to inspire those chills that make… MORE

Blythe Baird

At only 25 years old, Blythe Baird is already one of the most recognizable and acclaimed names in spoken word poetry. Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, the viral writer has garnered international recognition for her stunning… MORE

Siaara Freeman

Siaara Freeman is from Cleveland Ohio, where she is the current Lake Erie Siren & a teaching artist for Center For Arts Inspired Learning and The Sisterhood Project in conjunction with the Anisfieldwolf Foundation. She is a 2021… MORE

Robert Wood Lynn

Robert Wood Lynn is the author of How to Maintain Eye Contact (Button Poetry 2023), runner-up in the 2020 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest, and Mothman Apologia (Yale University Press 2022), selected by Rae Armantrout as the winner of… MORE

Zack Grey

Zack Grey is the author of four full-length poetry collections: Dear Midnight (2019), To A Girl I Haven’t Met (2017), and most recently, The Space Between Us: Poetry & Prose (2020) – co-authored with best-selling author Courtney Peppernell…. MORE

Azura Tyabji

Azura Tyabji served as the 2018-19 Seattle Youth Poet Laureate and National Youth Poet Ambassador for the West. Her debut poetry collection, Stepwell, was released by Poetry Northwest. She writes in pursuit of healing, community, and justice. 

Jackson Neal

Jackson Neal (He/ They) is a poet from Houston, Texas. They are a 2019 National Youth Poet Laureate Ambassador for the Southwest and the 2019 Houston Youth Poet Laureate. Neal is a First Wave Scholar at the University… MORE

Ollie Schminkey

Ollie Schminkey is a non-binary transgender poet/musician/artist living in St. Paul, MN. They facilitate, direct, coach, and host many organizations, including a weekly writing workshop called Well-Placed Commas, which serves primarily queer and trans writers. They’ve performed poems… MORE

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