Muna Abdulahi – “The Unwritten Letter from my Immigrant Parent” (Button Live)

Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“My daughter, you are called first-generation for a reason, it is because the American dream was never meant for me, it was always, always meant for you.”

Don’t miss this spectacular poem from Muna Abdulahi, 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, & our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva.

David “AndYes” DeMola – “Alien”

2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“My father was an alien, born outside the atmosphere of planet America, and I am his alienated son.”

Don’t miss this astounding poem by David “AndYes” DeMola, 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, our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.

Amanda Molina – “The Fragrance of Female Adolescence” (Get Lit)

Performing at the 2017 Get Lit Classic Slam.

“I was already trying so hard to hide who I really was. I didn’t need another secret.”

Don’t miss this fabulous poem from Amanda Molina, performing during the semi-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, our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.

Amir Khadar – “No Fats, No Femmes, No Blacks, No Asians” (Button Live)

Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“We don’t live in the same acronym. The rainbow flag is all the color he can tolerate in his life. And at the end of the day he can wipe off the paint and the glitter and I stay colored and shining.”

Don’t miss this astonishing poem from Amir Khadar, 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, & our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva.

Fable the Poet – “Timmy”

2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“I know that it was all a dream, and the guy, the guy inside the casket, that was me.”

Don’t miss this stunning poem by Fable the Poet, 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, our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.

Tariq Luthun – “SEED” (Button Live)

Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“I do not know what to throw away when nothing belongs to me.”

Don’t miss this extraordinary poem from Tariq Luthun, 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, & our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva.

Siaara Freeman – “Hexes For My Exes (after Rachel Wiley)”

2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“I wish you girls who claim they can’t cook, and they can cook, they just don’t wanna cook for your punk ass.”

Don’t miss this dynamic poem from Siaara Freeman, 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, our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.

Amaya Blankenship – “My Walk Home” (Get Lit)

Performing at the 2017 Get Lit Classic Slam.

“In the dark, light only casts shadows and it’s easy to be a target when lurking hands can hide.”

Don’t miss this dynamic poem from Amaya Blankenship, 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, our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.

In-Depth Look: Javon Johnson – “Baby Brother”

In-Depth Look: Javon Johnson – “Baby Brother””

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.

“My masculinity is a well-hung portrait in a hallway of a crumbling house.”
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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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One of the most powerful things that poets do is attempt to view issues through the lens of relationships. As many of us are already aware, if we want to persuade an audience that our point-of-view about a particular issue is worthwhile, just rattling off the linear, logical arguments probably isn’t going to work (especially today). But if we can translate our argument into a story, particularly a story that orbits around personal relationships and the emotions that drive them, people might actually listen.

The first two-thirds of this poem only hint at its eventual thesis statement; through the exploration of a real, grounded, human relationship, Johnson provides context, brings the audience in, and sets the stage for the “here’s what I’m really talking about” section of the poem. And when that section comes, when Johnson really dives into how children are socialized to think about masculinity and the damage that that does, it’s all the more powerful for not just appearing from the void– we already care about the people touched by it.

For people interested in this topic, two links: One is a short poem by Nayyirah Waheed, and the other is a longer talk from Tony Porter, co-founder of A Call to Men. Also, be sure to check out more of Javon Johnson’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, and our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva.

Nader Helmy – “Golden Mouth”

2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“I’ve always wanted to speak with economy, fit a whole stock market in my lower trachea, gentrify the gums that house my chewed-up bones.”

Don’t miss this magnificent poem from Nader Helmy, 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, our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.