Levi Antoine – “Resilient: Letters to My Rapist”

2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“This is not a poem, it is an open letter to my body to remind it that I am its owner.”

Don’t miss this incredible poem by Levi Antoine, 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.

Olivia Gatwood – “Ode to My Period Underwear”

Performing at her Book Release Party.

“once you were brand new bought in the name of some boy who I wished to see me unmarked and clean as his mother’s kitchen counter”

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

Get your hands on a copy of Olivia’s best-selling book, New American Best Friend, now available through the Button Store!

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 Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.

In-Depth Look: Hanif Abdurraqib – “Watching A Fight At The New Haven Dog Park”

In-Depth Look: Hanif Abdurraqib – “Watching A Fight At The New Haven Dog Park”

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.

“And I too, dress for the hell I want, and not the hell that is most likely coming.”
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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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In school, I remember learning about metaphor, but it was always tied to learning about simile. Part of the “lesson” was being able to differentiate the two, and I think that because of that, a lot of us still tend to think about metaphor in an overly specific way. “It’s like a simile, but doesn’t use like.” We so often see metaphor as another tool in the toolbox, and not something more fundamental to the craft of poetry; less screwdriver or pliers, more hands.

As this poem demonstrates, metaphor is so much more than a one-line comparison between two images or ideas. It’s about world-building. It’s about how we interface with reality through the telling of stories, or the sharing of images. And because that process is messy, metaphors can be messy too– they’re not always perfectly-balanced equations. The swirling imagery in this poem– from the dogs, to their owners, to the memory of another fight, to the more concrete flashes of blood, teeth, and fists– it all pushes us deeper into the poem’s reality, closer to the nuanced point that Abdurraqib is making.

Find more of Hanif Abdurraqib’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.

Spencer Brownstein – “Grandma, or How Best to Say Home”

2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“She teaches me the word ‘cautious’, which means: I’ll protect you when I can, but you have to protect yourself too.”

Don’t miss this wonderful poem from Spencer Brownstein, performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

The wait is over! Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s, peluda, is officially released and now available to 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, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva & more.

Melissa Lozada-Oliva – “AKA Ladies Night”

Performing at Olivia Gatwood’s Book Release.

“I text myself, ‘I’ve been here the whole time, just in case.’”

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

The wait is over! Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s, peluda, is officially released and now available to 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, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, & more.

Andrea Gibson – “Orlando” (Button Live)

Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“Life, it’s like funeral practice: half of us already dead to our families before we die, half of us on our knees still trying to crawl into the family photo.”

Don’t miss this heartbreaking poem from Andrea Gibson, featuring at Button Poetry Live, April 2017.

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, & more.

Sabrina Benaim – “The Loneliest Sweet Potato”

Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“I’m good at making people feel good because I have had a lot of practice on myself. Practice on myself because I feel sad a lot.”

Don’t miss this fantastic new poem from Sabrina Benaim, featuring at Button Poetry Live, January 2017.

Sabrina’s debut book, Depression & Other Magic Tricks, is now available!

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 & more.

Nayeli Hernandez – “Ellos Dicen” (Get Lit)

Performing at the 2017 Get Lit Classic Slam.

“There is a revolution on its way and there is no time to shove our women into corners.”

Don’t miss this dynamic poem from Nayeli Hernandez, 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, our newest release from Sabrina Benaim & more.

Alysia Harris – “Controlled Burn” (Button Live)

Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Learn to walk again. Look in the mirror and learn to love your scarred face again, after being singed.”

Don’t miss this powerful poem by Alysia Harris, featuring at Button Poetry Live. If you’re in the Twin Cities, don’t miss the next Button Poetry Live show, first Monday of every month in downtown Saint Paul, or watch LIVE from our YouTube Channel.

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, Jacqui Germain, Hanif Abdurraqib, Olivia Gatwood, Donte Collins, our newest release from Sabrina Benaim & more.

In-Depth Look: Donte Collins – “New Country (after Safia Elhillo)”

In-Depth Look: Donte Collins – “New Country (after Safia Elhillo)”

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.

“Yeah, I’m salty as fuck… that’s what happens when you’re dragged across an ocean.”
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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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One of the most powerful things a poet can do is know for whom they’re writing– not that there’s always an easy answer. This poem, through its listing of moments, monuments, shared symbols, and beyond, builds a relationship with its audience. It builds relationships with other audiences too, in different ways, but it never loses sight of for whom it exists.

Additionally, there’s something electric in how Collins speaks on joy, community, and family, without ever using the words “joy,” “community,” or “family.” One of the most common writing exercises that poets and teachers use is the “I am from” poem, where a poet tries to communicate who they are, what they represent, and where they’re from, usually by listing a series of concrete images– smells, moments, sounds, etc. As this poem demonstrates, that impulse– to construct our identities not through a perfect, one-line thesis statement, but through an impressionistic landscape of images– can create some very memorable writing.

Check out Safia Elhillo’s poem “Self Portrait With No Flag” here. You can also find more from Donte Collins at their website and through their new book, Autopsy, available now through Button Poetry!

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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, and our newest release from Sabrina Benaim.