William Evans – “Brand New” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Maybe I was supposed to be a lumberjack or a loaded insult in someone else’s grip, something my white neighbors would think is dangerous, but too honorable to fear.”

Don’t miss this magnificent poem from William Evans, featuring at Button Poetry Live. Make sure to grab a copy of William’s book, STILL CAN’T DO MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR.


Get William’s Book Here
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While you’re here, head over to the Button store to check out our books and merch, Hanif Abdurraqib, Donte Collins, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

William Evans – “The Girl Who Can’t Sit Still” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Who wants to stay in a building where the residents pretend to not see the fire bursting from its windows?”

Don’t miss this extraordinary poem from William Evans, featuring at Button Poetry Live. Make sure to grab a copy of William’s book, STILL CAN’T DO MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR.


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

William Evans – “It’s Tuesday and We Didn’t See Any New Shootings of Black People by Police…”


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Maybe, my wife and I might actually get some alone time tonight, and by alone time, I mean neither of us will be too exhausted to do what gave us a daughter in the first place.”

Don’t miss this phenomenal poem from William Evans, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

Check out William’s book, STILL CAN’T DO MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR, 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Guante, Rachel Wiley, & our newest release from Neil Hilborn!

William Evans – “I Say Cathedral When I Mean Gunpowder” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Stained glass is sometimes just light born in a better neighborhood and I can smell the gunpowder you swallowed every time I startle a flock of birds that will never fly again.”

Don’t miss this magnificent poem from William Evans, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

Check out William’s remarkable book, STILL CAN’T DO MY DAUGHTER’S HAIR, 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, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, William Evans, Stevie Edwards, Claire Schwartz, Guante, & our newest release from Rachel Wiley!

Best of Button Week 152

“The church still gives purpose to all of the ghosts, because even with our hands up, don’t we still look like we are praising?”



Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Pages Matam & William Evans! 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!

In-Depth Look: William Evans – “Bathroom Etiquette”

In-Depth Look: William Evans – “Bathroom Etiquette”

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 know the song even if my pitch needs work.”

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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre


Get Guante’s Book Here
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Aspiring poets ask about writer’s block a lot. They tend to also ask questions like “where do you get your inspiration?” a lot. Of course, these are good and natural questions, but I also remember when I was just getting started, asking the same questions; I remember asking them less out of curiosity and more out of fear– the fear that every poem has to be some monumental, earth-moving feat, the fear that if I’m not constantly producing I’ll fall behind (whatever that means), the fear that I don’t have anything to add to the larger conversation.

My favorite answer to that question is brought to life by this poem. William Evans has a gift for presenting “small,” slice-of-life moments, and then really digging into them to explore how history, and policy, and experience, and culture, and more all add up to create a moment. When you can cultivate that kind of critical lens, when you can challenge yourself to really see what’s going on inside– or behind– a scene or situation, you become able to see poems everywhere. This piece takes the most seemingly throwaway social interaction (two coworkers joking about an email memo about urinal splashguards) and excavates something profound about history, bodies, memory, lineage, and even white supremacy.

Note the subtle emphasis placed on the “my” in “But my grandfather…” at 1:26. The whole poem turns on that point. The whole “seemingly throwaway situation” turns into something else. When people ask me about writer’s block today, that’s my answer: it isn’t always about trying to access some brilliant truth outside of yourself; it’s about taking the time to find the “something else” in a scene, moment, or memory to which you already have access.

Find more from William Evans here, and get his new 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, Rudy Francisco, and our newest releases from Claire Schwartz and Stevie Edwards!

William Evans – “New Year’s Eve Party at Eric’s House and the Black Boys Have Had Enough” (Button Live)


Featuring at Button Poetry Live.
“This is what shedding your old coat of skin in the suburbs looks like, pretending that you were never cut just so you can bleed again for an audience”
Don’t miss this outstanding poem from William Evans, featuring at Button Poetry Live.
Make sure to check out William Evans’ book, Still Can’t Do My Daughter’s Hair, now available!
Send us your poems! 2017 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest! 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, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, our newest release from Rudy Francisco & more!

In-Depth Look: William Evans – “They Love Us Here”

In-Depth Look: William Evans – “They Love Us Here”

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.

“This is what you do when you are Black and at jobs where you suffer through being the minority, you send your daughter to the better school where she will suffer through being the minority.”

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Write-up by Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre

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I remember first getting into writing, and thinking (not necessarily consciously, but somewhere deep down) that poetry was about saying simple, universal things in the most needlessly convoluted way possible. Of course, as I kept writing, reading, and listening, I figured out that the work that really sticks with me does the exact opposite: it uses simple, straightforward language to tackle deep, complex, multi-layered ideas. It’s probably no coincidence that William Evans was one of the first poets whose work had an impact on me.

This poem is only a minute-and-a-half long piece of storytelling. But within that, there’s so much– not just about race, but how race intersects with class, and history, and family, and fairness, and struggle, and America. It’s a furious indictment of so-called “benevolent racism,” but a poem that was just that, while still valuable, probably wouldn’t be as powerful as a poem that is equally about a father considering the future of his daughter. That personal angle both enriches and complicates the political message, creating a dynamic conversation between impulses, issues, and perspectives.

Find more from William Evans here, and get his new 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 Aziza Barnes, Danez Smith, Neil Hilborn, Donte Collins, Sabrina Benaim, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, and more!

Best of Button Week 140

“Her fist is balled the way a boy would grip her hair in a kindergarten class or at any age that boys put their name on things.”




Don’t miss this week’s Best of Button playlist, featuring the top-viewed recent videos on the Button YouTube Channel. Today’s additions: Blythe Baird, Omar Holmon, and William Evans. Congratulations poets!

Make sure to check out our newest release, Still Can’t Do My Daughter’s Hair, by William Evans!

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, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, and more!

William Evans – “I Turn the Volume Down Because Beyoncé Says Fuck…” (Button Live)

Featuring at Button Poetry Live.

“Her fist is balled the way a boy would grip her hair in a kindergarten class, or at any age that boys put their name on things.”

Don’t miss this phenomenal poem from William Evans, featuring at Button Poetry Live.

William Evans’ highly anticipated book, Still Can’t Do My Daughter’s Hair, is officially available! Order your copy today!

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, & Melissa Lozada-Oliva.