Porsha Olayiwola – “Unnamed” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“People wonder about Black names: why the names aren’t shorter, why the runaway syllables aren’t easier to catch, why our names chime like music when they traverse between lobes.”

Don’t miss this magnificent poem from Porsha Olayiwola, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

Stay tuned for Porsha’s forthcoming book from Button Poetry, coming Fall 2018!



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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Miss K – “How to Be Black in America” (Button Live)


Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“Be more respectful than you have to be. Anything defensive from you is resistance. And you will be detained, in a box, be it metal or wooden.”

Don’t miss this tremendous poem from Miss K, performing 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Best of Button Week 163

“When the boy says he loves my body, but does not say he loves me, I let him.”



Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Bianca Phipps, Dave Harris, & Guante. Congrats poets!

While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including books by Danez Smith, Olivia Gatwood, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Rudy Francisco, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Julian Randall – “6 Biracial Metaphors”

2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“Sometimes being biracial is to have two half-filled glasses and die of thirst anyway.”

Don’t miss this incredible poem by Julian Randall, featured contestant in the 2016 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Rudy Francisco, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Rudy Francisco – “If I Was a Love Poet”


Featuring at Icehouse in Minneapolis.

“I loved you the same way that I learned how to ride a bike. Scared, but reckless. With no training wheels or elbow pads so my scars can tell the story of how I fell for you.”

Don’t miss this remarkable poem from Rudy Francisco, featuring at his book release party at Icehouse in Minneapolis.

Check out Rudy’s phenomenal book, HELIUM, 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Michael Lee – “Remember” (Button Live)


Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“What terrible magic: the day we find out who we really are.”

Don’t miss this outstanding poem from Michael Lee, performing 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Jared Paul – “When I Say That I Came Up Poor” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“When I say that I came up poor, I mean, what some folks derisively call hood is what somebody else calls home. A held space, with its own customs and communion.”

Don’t miss this magnificent poem from Jared Paul, 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

William Evans – “It’s Tuesday and We Didn’t See Any New Shootings of Black People by Police…”


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Maybe, my wife and I might actually get some alone time tonight, and by alone time, I mean neither of us will be too exhausted to do what gave us a daughter in the first place.”

Don’t miss this phenomenal poem from William Evans, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

Check out William’s book, STILL CAN’T DO MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR, 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

In-Depth Look: Suzi Q Smith – “Bones”

In-Depth Look: Suzi Q Smith – “Bones”

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.

“Bridges can be cages too; let them all burn.”

———

Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre


Get Guante’s Book Here
———

Because my biggest poem is a “number poem,” people often ask about that approach with regards to their own writing. In that question, though, there’s often a hint of suspicion, as if poems built around numbered sections represent some kind of poetic cheat code, an easy way to sound deep without really justifying the structural conceit. And sure, that happens.

This poem, however, is a great example of how a number poem can work, and work beautifully. At its core, a number poem is a way to fragment an idea; to use a visual metaphor, I think of number poems as less photorealistic and more impressionistic. Rather than offer some big, authoritative thesis statement about a topic, you can build an idea out of smaller pieces; the substance of the poem is contained both in those pieces and in how those pieces relate to one another.

In this poem, the separation of the main idea into smaller sections allows Smith to deploy a whirlwind of concrete images– the fire, the tampons, the stitches, the gallbladder, the hurricane, the bones. Because the poem is already fragmented, those images get to stand on their own as they appear. That fragmentation also allows different sections to provide context for one another. For example: …when I was reminded to be humble, when I was taught to be polite, when I was raised to be a Christian, all forgiveness and long suffering, when I was beaten into being a good girl… connects the deeply personal to larger ideas about society and culture, expanding the “work” of the poem in a powerful way.

Find more from Suzi Q. Smith here.

———

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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Yesha Townsend – “Sun Salutations in the Sargasso”


Performing at Intermedia Arts.

“Your love backbends into the ocean, inhales salt and sargassum, sea breams and shark oil.”

Don’t miss this wonderful poem from Yesha Townsend, performing at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis.



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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!