Rachel Wiley – “Conversations With My Father In A Dunk Tank” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Do you remember when your love turned addict, trapped bird, and started slamming its own feathers out against the windows, wild-eyed and desperate?”

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

Congrats on your release day, Rachel! Check out Rachel’s phenomenal book, NOTHING IS OKAY, now available!



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

In-Depth Look: Soups – “The Dark Side of Being Mixed”

In-Depth Look: Soups – “The Dark Side of Being Mixed”

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.

“That’s when you’ll be forced to swallow the truth. It will taste expired.”

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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre


Get Guante’s Book Here
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One thing we often talk about in writing/performance workshops is how important a poem’s first and last lines are. This is true for many kinds of art, but takes on special importance in spoken word, where grabbing the audience’s attention right away– and also leaving them with something that sticks– can help to mitigate the effects of the audience’s inevitable wandering attention.

My first home was inside the womb of a white woman is such an evocative, gripping first line, and perfectly sets up the central question/idea that the piece grapples with: how racism can affect– and infect– even the closest of relationships. The poem starts by talking about that effect in terms of other people’s perceptions, but then powerfully transitions into sharing stories and scenes that show how that effect isn’t just about other people’s perceptions– there is a kind of distance created by privilege, by pop culture, by this country’s white supremacist history, that can’t be fully bridged no matter how loving the personal relationship.

That leads us to the closing line: She will always have the choice of being either weapon or shield, and all I will ever be is target. This line works on an emotional/relationship level, bringing the poem full-circle, but it also works on a larger, political level: it captures something profound about the idea of allyship. Even the most committed allies, the people bound not just by principle but by real love to those they choose to stand in solidarity with, still have the freedom (and privilege) to make that choice..

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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 Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Rudy Francisco, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!

Claire Schwartz – “Distance Is The Primal Fact”


Performing at her book release in Minneapolis.

“there are days i light myself on fire just to worship something glittering.”

Don’t miss this remarkable poem from Claire Schwartz, featuring at her book release party at Icehouse in Minneapolis.

Make sure to check out Claire’s new book, BOUND, Winner of the 2016 Button Poetry Prize, now available!



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

Dagogo Hart – “Lantern Smoke”

2017 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“I know what she means when she says don’t come back. She means be the best you can be. The world deserves you as much as we do.”

Don’t miss this beautiful poem by Dagogo Hart, runner-up in the 2017 Button Poetry Video Contest!

Stay tuned for more information about our 2018 Video Contest!

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, Rudy Francisco, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!

Melissa Lozada-Oliva – “We Play Would You Rather at the Galentine’s Day Party”


Performing at her book release in Minneapolis.

“Would you rather be completely covered in fur like head-to-toe, monster type of shit, or, stay with me, stay with me, be perfectly smoothy smooth, in all of the right places: thighs, crotch, armpits, upper-lip, neck? But here’s the caveat: all of the hair that would’ve grown in those places takes the form of a tail.”

Don’t miss this incredible poem from Melissa Lozada-Oliva, featuring at her book release party at Icehouse in Minneapolis.

Make sure to check out Melissa’s new book, PELUDA, now available!

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Neil Hilborn, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, William Evans, Rudy Francisco, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!

Joel François – “Haiti”

2017 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“What is the point of speaking two languages if all it does if give you more ways to say ‘dead’ and ‘Black’?”

Don’t miss this marvelous poem by Joel François, runner-up in the 2017 Button Poetry Video Contest!

Stay tuned for more information about our 2018 Video Contest!

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, Rudy Francisco, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!

Hanif Abdurraqib – “While Watching the Convenience Store Burn in Baltimore”


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“I can’t recall, I just woke up one day with this new empty.”

Don’t miss this marvelous poem from Hanif Abdurraqib, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

Check out Hanif’s incredible debut book, “The Crown Ain’t Worth Much”.



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

Jose Soto – “Millennial Jesus”


Performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“Millennial Jesus does not die for his sins, because Millennial Jesus knows it is not a sin to live in Brown skin.”

Don’t miss this wonderful poem from Jose Soto, 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, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!

Sabrina Benaim – “on the last gesture between us”


Performing at her book release in Minneapolis.

“I think I’ll prefer you a stranger someday.”

Don’t miss this incredible poem from Sabrina Benaim, performing at Icehouse in Minneapolis.

Check out Sabrina’s debut book, DEPRESSION & OTHER MAGIC TRICKS, available on our website or wherever books are sold!



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

Ashlee Haze – “Ode to Fuck Boys” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Oh Fuck Boy, how did I live without you? Why didn’t I know I needed someone to drink all of my Hennessy?”

Don’t miss this magnificent poem from Ashlee Haze, 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, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!