Olivia Gatwood – “When I Say That We Are All Teen Girls” (500K Views!)

“When I say that we are all teen girls, what I mean is that when my grandmother called to ask why I didn’t respond to her letter, all I heard was, ‘Why didn’t you text me back? Why don’t you love me?’”

Congratulations to Olivia Gatwood for topping 500,000 views on this fantastic poem! Watch more from Olivia here and here.

Get Olivia’s phenomenal book, New American Best Friend.

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Sabrina Benaim, Neil Hilborn, Hanif Abdurraqib, Michael Lee, L.E. Bowman, Raych Jackson, and our newest release from Topaz Winters!

Olivia Gatwood – “Liberty”

Performing at Camp Bar.

“She did not know that when the boys lined up in four straight rows to sing the anthem, they were singing it for her.”

Don’t miss this amazing poem from Olivia Gatwood, performing at Camp Bar in St.Paul.

Olivia’s book, NEW AMERICAN BEST FRIEND, is now available!

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Sabrina Benaim, Neil Hilborn, Andrea Gibson, Blythe Baird, Desireé Dallagiacomo, & our newest release from Dave Harris!

Best of 2018 #5: Olivia Gatwood – “When I Say That We Are All Teen Girls”

Best of 2018 #5: Olivia Gatwood – “When I Say That We Are All Teen Girls”

“When I say that we are all teen girls, what I mean is that when my grandmother called to ask why I didn’t respond to her letter, all I heard was, ‘Why didn’t you text me back? Why don’t you love me?’”

Heading into the new year, we’ll be counting down the top-viewed videos on Button from 2018! Coming in fifth on the list, “When I Say That We Are All Teen Girls” by Olivia Gatwood. Congratulations Olivia!

Note: This countdown list only covers a small fraction of the brilliant artists who let us share their work on our channel this year, and is by no means a definitive list of the “best” poems, simply the ones that got the most views. Take some time and check out more from the past year on our channel.


Get Olivia’s Book Here
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And while you’re here, make sure to check out our other books and merch as well, including our awesome t-shirts and posters, and books by Rudy Francisco, Rachel Wiley, Neil Hilborn, Phil Kaye, and our newest release from Andrea Gibson!

Olivia Gatwood – “Ode to My Lover’s Left Hand”


Performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

“What is the sky if not my body? A home for your open and boastful wing.”

Don’t miss this amazing poem from Olivia Gatwood, performing at the 2017 Rustbelt Poetry Festival.

Check out Olivia’s incredible book, NEW AMERICAN BEST FRIEND, Goodreads finalist for Best Poetry Books of 2017.



While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, including books by Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

Best of Button Week 155

“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 week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Rudy Francisco, Olivia Gatwood, Rachel McKibbens, & Sienna Burnett. Congratulations poets!

While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including books by Danez Smith, Olivia Gatwood, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, 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!

In-Depth Look: Olivia Gatwood – “When I Say We Are All Teen Girls”

In-Depth Look: Olivia Gatwood – “When I Say We Are All Teen Girls”

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.

“When I say that we are all teen girls, what I mean is that when my grandmother called to ask why I didn’t respond to her letter, all I heard was, ‘Why didn’t you text me back? Why don’t you love me?’”

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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre


Get Guante’s Book Here
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From its title, to it structure, even down to the line-by-line word choices: this poem knows what it is. That might seem like a weird thing to say about a poem, but Gatwood is delivering a masterclass in conceptual discipline and focus here; this poem makes a specific statement, and every line– every word– contributes to that work.

I always find myself appreciating that kind of “focus on focus” because for me (and I also know that this is true for a ton of beginning writers), that has been a challenge to develop. I remember just splashing a bunch of thoughts, feelings, and images on the page, and thinking that the reader/listener would do the work of making them make sense. After all, the romantic stereotype of what poetry is doesn’t always have room for words like “discipline,” “structure,” or “thesis.” To be fair, you can absolutely write poems without any of those things. But they are powerful tools, and when wielded as intentionally as Gatwood wields them here, they can propel a piece from an interesting thought to an unforgettable experience.

This poem immediately reminded me of pieces like this, and this, about how teen girls are used as barometers by adult male music critics to decide what is and isn’t okay to enjoy. US culture is quick to write off the things that teen girls like, because, frankly, it’s already so quick to write off women, and young people, and especially young women, as human beings. Gatwood’s poem takes that idea further, though, focusing not just on pop culture, but on the relationship between teen girls and reality itself. This recontextualization of so many things– the wrench, the ocean, Donald Trump, Pluto– challenges the audience to think more critically, while simultaneously serving as a validating battle cry to *actual* teen girls, who appear in the poem “huddled on the subway after school, limbs draped over each other’s shoulders, bones knocking an awkward windchime.”

Find more from Olivia Gatwood here, and get her book 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!

Olivia Gatwood – “Ode to Elise in Eighth Grade Health Class”

Performing at her Book Release Party.

“A profound observation, What are you, gay for me? As if my body could be flipped solely in the wake her, some kind of reverse conversion therapy.”

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

Pick up your copy of 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, Mahogany L. Browne, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, William Evans, our newest release from Rudy Francisco & more.

Olivia Gatwood – “Jordan Convinced Me That Pads Are Disgusting”

Performing at her Book Release Party.

“I was terrified of tampons, or rather, terrified of the undiscovered crater, the muscle that holds and pulls and keeps and sheds.”

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

Pick up your copy of Olivia’s book, New American Best Friend, now available for 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, Hanif Abdurraqib, Jacqui Germain, Aaron Coleman, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, our newest release from William Evans & more.

Best of Button Week 134

“I text myself, ‘I knew you would need me.’”



Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Olivia Gatwood, Andrea Gibson, Sam Sax, & Melissa Lozada-Oliva. Congratulations poets!

While you’re here on our site, make sure to check out our books and merchandise in the Button Store, including books by Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, and our newest release from Melissa Lozada-Oliva.