Donte Collins – “For Soft Boys”

Performing at his book release in Minneapolis.

“The thing about masks is someone always sees the string behind your head.”

Don’t miss this dazzling poem from Donte Collins, performing at his book release in Minneapolis.

Check out Donte’s book, Autopsy, now available everywhere!

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, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Sam Sax, Olivia Gatwood, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Olivia, William Evans, our newest release from Rudy Francisco, & more.

Vanessa Tahay – “Inside My House” (Get Lit)

Performing at the 2017 Get Lit Classic Slam.

“When this tongue speaks, it sings the stories of my ancestors, it prophesizes the lives of my coming generations.”

Don’t miss this stellar poem from Vanessa Tahay, 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.

Want to get your book published on Button? The 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest is now open for submissions. November 15th – January 5th, 2017-2018. Check out the full information and guidelines for the contest here!

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, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, our newest release from Rudy Francisco & more.

In-Depth Look: Mitcholos – “Cacophony”

In-Depth Look: Mitcholos – “Cacophony”

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.

I need you to understand that this cacophony is the new language of my people.

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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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I’m struck by this line near the end of the poem: “I don’t want you to apologize in English, or Canadian French; I want you to open your eyes.” As more and more events (including poetry slams and other spoken word events) adopt the practice of acknowledging the land and its original inhabitants, it feels like that line is an important addendum to that practice: it isn’t just about apologizing, or “acknowledging” colonialism and genocide; it’s about the more difficult work of taking a critical look at our everyday actions, our organizational practices, and beyond, to see how they either continue or interrupt that legacy.

The poem as a whole reflects this intentionality of thought, juxtaposing past and present, through the powerful image of the death of a color. What could be a challenging, abstract idea for a poem to build itself around is supported by wave after wave of concrete, narrative imagery– from the evocative use of the word “splatter,” to the family snapshots, to the video itself, which does interesting things with negative space and color.

Find more from Mitcholos here. Additionally, for people interested in the point about moving “beyond territorial acknowledgements,” here is some writing on that.

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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, and our newest release from Rudy Francisco!

Edwin Gwira Tamattey – “Gas Laws”

2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

“Why do these men keep telling me that pressure is inversely proportional to volume when every morning I wake up, the expanding volume of my thoughts feels like a ship drowning in my skull?”

Don’t miss this incredible poem by Edwin Gwira Tamattey, featured contestant in the 2016 Button Poetry Video Contest.

Send us your poems! The 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest is now open for submissions. November 15th – January 5th, 2017-2018. Check out the full information and guidelines for the contest here!

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, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, our newest release from Rudy Francisco & more.

Sam Rush – “The Best Way to Treat Bedbugs” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“The best way to treat bedbugs is to scream…uncontrollably…until you die.”

Don’t miss this amazing poem from Sam Rush, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

Send us your poems! The 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest is now open for submissions. November 15th – January 5th, 2017-2018. Check out the full information and guidelines for the contest here!

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, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans & our newest release from Rudy Francisco and more.

In-Depth Look: Ariana Brown – “Ode to Thrift Stores”

In-Depth Look: Ariana Brown – “Ode to Thrift Stores”

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.

What can you create when the only thing in front of you is your hands?

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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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My favorite extended metaphors also function on a literal level. I hear this poem as a profound exploration of how wisdom is handed down through generations, how class identity is shaped through family relationships, how necessity is the mother of invention (with “mother” being intentional phrasing)– of course. But I also hear it as a literal ode to thrift stores; the imagery is so specific, the sense of place so well-defined. The fact that the poem works so well on both levels is stunning; the thrift store is not just the tool used to get to the “deep stuff” in the poem; it’s inextricably linked to it.

That fusion of form and content, aside from just being gorgeous on a poetic level, generates an emotional energy that brings the audience into the poem, that gives the poem weight. Related to that, I’d also just point out how powerful the opening and closing lines of the poem are; both are quotes, both could be seen as “small” interpersonal interactions, and both do so much work for the poem.

Find more from Ariana Brown 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, and our newest release from Rudy Francisco!

Samantha Healy – “Witch Hunt” (Get Lit)

Performing at the 2017 Get Lit Classic Slam.

“He likes girls with mothers that don’t love them. Mothers like whiplash, throw you across your bedroom, cradle you in the wreckage, teach you nothing of stability. Mothers that singe your eyebrows with every laugh.”

Don’t miss this amazing poem from Samantha Healy, performing during the semifinals 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.

Want to get your book published on Button? The 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest is now open for submissions. November 15th – January 5th, 2017-2018. Check out the full information and guidelines for the contest here!

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, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, our newest release from Rudy Francisco & more.

Isha Camara – “Sidewalks and Catcalls” (Button Live)


Performing at Button Poetry Live.

“If I’m a work of art, think how expensive this skin is.”

Don’t miss this phenomenal poem from Isha Camara, performing at Button Poetry Live.

Send us your poems! The 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest is now open for submissions. November 15th – January 5th, 2017-2018. Check out the full information and guidelines for the contest here!

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, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans & our newest release from Rudy Francisco and more.

Melissa Lozada-Oliva – “My Hair Stays on Your Pillow Like a Question Mark”


Performing at her book release in Minneapolis.

“Imagine being as gross as you fear?? Imagine the things that shed from you turning into something that survives the apocalypse??”

Don’t miss this fantastic 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!

Send us your poems! The 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest is now open for submissions. November 15th – January 5th, 2017-2018. Check out the full information and guidelines for the contest 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, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, William Evans, our newest release from Rudy Francisco, and more!

Suzi Q Smith – “I Don’t Know How to Love in English”


Performing at Great Plains 2016

“I do not know where love comes from, only know that it resides in me.”

Don’t miss this sensational poem from Suzi Q Smith, performing at the 2016 Great Plains Poetry Pile-Up in Lincoln, NE.

Want to get your book published on Button? The 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest is now open for submissions. November 15th – January 5th, 2017-2018. Check out the full information and guidelines for the contest 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, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, our newest release from Rudy Francisco, & more.