Nora Cooper – “Depression, the Dude”


Performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“My depression is like that guy lifting directly in front of the weight rack.”

Don’t miss this stunning poem from Nora Cooper, performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Mahogany L. Browne, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.

Omar Holmon – “A List of Things That Get Said During the Act of Sex but Are Left Out of Sex Poems” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“I needed to drink from your lips for so long and right now I pray you thirsty as I am.”

Don’t miss this fantastic poem from Omar Holmon, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Mahogany L. Browne, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.

Mady Park – “The Asian Poem” (Get Lit)

Performing at the 2017 Get Lit Classic Slam.

“When your name is pronounced wrong your entire life, you start to identify with a mistake.”

Don’t miss this remarkable poem from Mady Park, performing during the semifinals of the 2017 Get Lit Words Ignite Classic Slam, the largest youth poetry tournament in Southern California. Order Get Lit Rising today at simonandschuster.com, and join the #LiteraryRiot at getlit.org.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out all our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Danez Smith, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.

Rachel Wiley – “Brass Knuckles” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Let’s name the rest of this year: The Year of Not Settling For Any More Basic Ass Shit.”

Don’t miss this tremendous poem from Rachel Wiley, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Mahogany L. Browne, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.

In-Depth Look: Blythe Baird – “Yet Another Rape Poem”

In-Depth Look: Blythe Baird – “Yet Another Rape Poem”

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’ve noticed that people only stopped calling me victim and started calling me survivor when I stop talking about it.”
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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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This is a poem that does a lot of work. On one level, it’s a stirring, important statement about trauma and healing in the context of rape culture. While the national conversation is driven by flashpoints like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and #MeToo, this poem “zooms in” on sexual assault and its aftermath, telling a deeper, fuller story in a very limited amount of time.

In addition to that, I’m struck by how a line like “watch me build an empire from the ashes of every single thing that tried to destroy me” relates to spoken word not just as an “activity” that people do, but as a specific cultural practice. The idea of “this stage” being one of the only platforms that people (whether they be survivors, members of under-or-misrepresented groups, young people, or anyone who does not naturally have access to attention and representation) have to stand up and speak their truth is a profound lesson on the value of this community, as well as the responsibilities that come with being part of that community.

I hear the title of this poem as a direct rebuke to that ever-present contingent of audience members and online commenters who bemoan (often in gendered and racialized terms) how “political” so much spoken word is. As this poem demonstrates: there’s a reason it’s so “political.” There’s a reason so many survivors choose to tell their stories through poetry. Performing can be therapeutic. But it isn’t *only* therapeutic; it isn’t *only* about the performer. The act of telling our stories, of saying the things that we need to say, is also a radical, community-building endeavor, one that both brings people together… and challenges them.

Find more of Blythe Baird’s work here!

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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, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, and our newest release from William Evans.

EK Gordon – “I Do”

2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“Opposites do attract; you were the soft to my hard, the push to my run away.”

Don’t miss this beautiful poem by EK Gordon, featured contestant in the 2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out all our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Danez Smith, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.

Melissa Lozada-Oliva – “If I Got Paid For All My Emotional Labor”

Performing at Olivia Gatwood’s Book Release Party.

“If I got paid for all my emotional labor, I’d hire an unassuming, relatively attractive white man to follow me around so every time you don’t believe me, he can just repeat what I said so then, like, you do believe me.”

Don’t miss this amazing poem from Melissa Lozada-Oliva, performing at Olivia Gatwood’s book release in St. Paul, MN.

Pick up a copy of Melissa’s book, peluda, now available for order!

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Mahogany L. Browne, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, our newest release from William Evans & more.

John Choe – “Twinkie” (Get Lit)

Performing at the 2017 Get Lit Classic Slam.

“America, didn’t you teach me to be myself and then make fun of me for being different?”

Don’t miss this tremendous poem from John Choe, performing during the finals of the 2017 Get Lit Words Ignite Classic Slam, the largest youth poetry tournament in Southern California. Order Get Lit Rising today at simonandschuster.com, and join the #LiteraryRiot at getlit.org.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out all our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Danez Smith, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.

Ariana Brown – “Supremacy”

Featuring at Intermedia Arts.

“They wanted to swallow a white girl’s smile, fold it in their pockets to keep them warm.”

Don’t miss this fantastic poem from Ariana Brown, performing at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, MN.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Mahogany L. Browne, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.

RJ Walker – “Halloween”


Performing at Great Plains 2016.
“I was originally planning on coming as my depression for halloween, but the costume was so big and heavy that I could not leave my house.”
Don’t miss this marvelous poem from RJ Walker, performing at the 2016 Great Plains Poetry Pile-Up in Lincoln, NE.
While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Mahogany L. Browne, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from William Evans & more.