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.

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.