Elisabet Velasquez – “Elephant” (Video Contest Winner!)

2017 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“I walk down the street and the men, they call me beautiful, and depending on their tone this either makes me feel like art or a cheap exhibit.”

Don’t miss this awe-inspiring poem by Elisabet Velasquez, WINNER of 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!

Cristopher Gibson – “Honestly” (Button Live!)


Performing at Button Poetry Live.
“My granny said, ‘We’re all good at something.’ My something just happens to be saying mean shit to other adults and making it rhyme. It’s not great, but it’s what I got.”

Don’t miss this fantastic poem from Cristopher Gibson, 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, 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!

In-Depth Look: Bao Phi – “Broken/English”

In-Depth Look: Bao Phi – “Broken/English”

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.

“Year after year she makes flowers bloom in the hood, petals in the face of this land that doesn’t want her here.”

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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre


Get Guante’s Book Here
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In a few of these writeups, I’ve written about the immense power of identifying moments. When poems are less like movies and more like photographs, when they force us to look at a single scene rather than telling us the whole story, it gives us space to really sit with an idea, to grapple with it, to process it. This poem does that as well as any I can think of. Through this “small” narrative moment, something very “big” is communicated– about the USA, about the immigrant/refugee experience, about dignity, respect, and rage.

For me, that really gets at what poetry is, on a fundamental level. Sometimes, by just telling a story, or painting a picture of a specific memory, you can say more than some 10,000 word think-piece or essay.

And Bao Phi is so good at that. I make no secret of the fact that Bao is one of my favorite poets of all time, and that his two books, “Sông I Sing” and “Thousand Star Hotel,” are always in my top five list of book recommendations when people ask me what poetry they should read. This poem is a great introduction to his work, which so elegantly weaves together powerful personal narrative, unblinking ferocity, and a whole lot of heart.

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

Stevie Edwards – “The Rapists Seem Hurt by Being Called Their Names in Public”


Performing at her book release in Minneapolis.

“They thought we wouldn’t notice the slaughterhouse, the conveyor belt inching us closer, the bins of bones and cartilage separated out.”

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

Make sure to check out Stevie’s new book, SADNESS WORKSHOP, 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!

William Nu’utupu Giles – “What Do You Want? It’s Not that Simple” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.
“The consistency of hurt is what makes it so comforting.”

Don’t miss this beautiful poem from William Nu’utupu Giles, 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, Rudy Francisco, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!

Olivia Gatwood – “The Scholar”


Performing at her book release in St. Paul.

“The last time we made love you asked me if I was scared. I think you wanted me to say yes.”

Don’t miss this stellar poem from Olivia Gatwood, performing at her book release in St. Paul, MN.

Check out Olivia’s book, New American Best Friend, 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!

Rachel McKibbens – “Glutton”


Performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“If only you could grab madness by the face, pin it against the chain link fence, look it in the eye and say, ‘You touch my kid again, I will fucking crush your life out.’”

Don’t miss this breathtaking poem from Rachel McKibbens, 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!

Rudy Francisco – “Your God”


Performing at his book release in Minneapolis.

“Sooner or later you will realize that you are praying to your own shadow, that you are standing in front of mirrors and are worshipping your own reflection.”

Don’t miss this amazing poem from Rudy Francisco, performing at Icehouse in Minneapolis.

Check out Rudy’s debut 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, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, & our newest release from Guante!

Sienna Burnett – “Lunch”


Performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“I’m not a thief. If I really stole something from him, it would had to have been a lot more violent. It’s not like I used force. It was sitting right there, so I took it.”

Don’t miss this brilliant poem from Sienna Burnett, 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!

Duncan Slagle – “The Lighthouse Gives Up” (Button Live)


Performing at Button Poetry Live.
“I step into the waves and become a bruised boy begging for loneliness.”

Don’t miss this astonishing poem from Duncan Slagle, 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, 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!