Neil Hilborn – “History of Punk Rock”

Featuring at 7th St Entry in Minneapolis.

“Even if I can’t remember, I was there, I was me, I was there.”

Don’t miss this sensational poem from Neil Hilborn, featuring at 7th St Entry in Minneapolis. Make sure to grab a copy of Neil’s newest book, THE FUTURE.

Get Neil’s Book Here

While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, Olivia Gatwood, Hanif Abdurraqib, Sabrina Benaim, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Phil Kaye!

In-Depth Look: Hanif Abdurraqib – “At My First Punk Rock Show Ever, 1998”

In-Depth Look: Hanif Abdurraqib – “At My First Punk Rock Show Ever, 1998”

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.

“We come here to see blood, like all boys who sneak past their sleeping fathers in ripped jeans.”

Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre


There are a lot of things to comment on in this poem– the power of its opening and closing line, how efficiently it’s constructed, how an entire relationship is illuminated by just a few scenes and lines. I’m particularly struck by how Abdurraqib uses place; right away, the title is evocative, but the first few lines go even deeper into what this place is– and what this place means. It’s one thing to understand “punk show” on an intellectual level; it’s something else to feel it– both in terms of its sights/smells/sounds, and the emotional energy that crackles through the relationships present in the poem.

For aspiring poets (maybe those readying their chapbook submissions), this is a valuable lesson. We sometimes think of “setting” as a fiction term, but poems have settings too, and especially with spoken word, creating a concrete, specific setting can do an enormous amount of work in terms of bringing the audience into the poem. It gives the reader (or listener) some ground to stand on, so they can be more fully present and open to the other elements of the poem.

Find more of Hanif Abdurraqib’s work here, and be sure to check out his new book, “They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us,” here!


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, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, and our newest release from William Evans.

Neil Hilborn – “Punk Rock John” (100K Views!)

“As long as I have hands, I can break something. As long as we can breathe, we can sing.”

Congratulations to Neil on topping 100,000 views on this classic poem. Watch more from Neil here and here. Don’t forget to check out Neil’s bestselling book, Our Numbered Days.

And while you’re here, make sure to check out our other books and merch as well, including our awesome t-shirts and poster and books by Jacqui Germain, Hanif Abdurraqib, Olivia Gatwood, and our newest release from Donte Collins!