Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Kyle Harper: How climate change and disease helped the fall of Rome

At some time or another, every historian of Rome has been asked to say where we are, today, on Rome’s cycle of decline. Historians might squirm at such attempts to … Continue reading

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Andrena Zawinski: Dancing with Neruda’s Bones  

Neruda, only known to me in the poet’s words–– I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul–– Neruda’s bones … Continue reading

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Video: Matt Damon reads from Howard Zinn’s “The Problem is Civil Obedience”

. This performance was part of “The People Speak, Live!” at the Metro in Chicago, on January 31, 2012, produced by Voices of a People’s History in collaboration with Louder … Continue reading

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The Vegan Kitchen: Rustic Red Cabbage and Potato Soup

At the end of the week, I like to make soup out of the last of the vegetables. This week the soup turned out especially tasty, so I thought I’d … Continue reading

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Video: Frida Kahlo (rare footage)

A montage of short clips of Frida Kahlo set to Esa Noche a song by Café Tacuba. We see Kahlo working in her studio, as well as talking with her husband Diego … Continue reading

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Paul Buchheit: How Inequality Is Killing Off Humanity

The super-rich are making it nearly impossible to reverse the deadly effects of an unnaturally unequal society, in part because they’re no longer connected to the world beyond their estates. … Continue reading

January 15, 2018 · 1 Comment

Frances Harper: Bible Defense of Slavery

Take sackcloth of the darkest dye, And shroud the pulpits round! Servants of Him that cannot lie, Sit mourning on the ground. Let holy horror blanch each cheek, Pale every … Continue reading

January 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Christine Skarbek: Countess Krystyna Skarbek — Resistance Personified

The most decorated woman of WWII was – without a doubt – a free-spirited Nazi Resistance fighter. Yet, Polish Countess Krystyna Skarbek remains unheralded in her homeland, and nearly everywhere … Continue reading

January 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

Agnieszka Golec de Zavala: Why collective narcissists are so politically volatile

In 2007, a British school teacher in Sudan received a jail sentence under Sharia law because she allowed her pupils to name a classroom teddy-bear ‘Muhammad’. The day after the … Continue reading

January 13, 2018 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: Self-Portrait as a Being of Sound and Motion on the Northern Edge of the Southern States

Driving to Winchester the other day Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Wind Instruments comes on the stereo as we head west into the sunset on 66 ready for the curve at the … Continue reading

January 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: I’m Done — A Declaration

Last week, a friend encouraged me to be patient with Trump supporters, to continue to dialogue with them. But how do we dialogue with people who view dialogue itself as … Continue reading

January 12, 2018 · 3 Comments

Jessica Corbett: Child Mortality Rate 70 Percent Higher in U.S. Than in Other Rich Nations

Report renews concerns about access to firearms and national healthcare system. American kids are 70 percent more likely to die during childhood compared with children in other wealthy, democratic nations, … Continue reading

January 12, 2018 · 1 Comment

W.J. Astore: U.S. Politicians and their Love of the Military

James Madison.  We need his wisdom more than ever.. If there’s one area of bipartisan agreement today, it’s politicians’ professed love of the U.S. military.  Consider George W. Bush.  He … Continue reading

January 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Emily Dickinson: Because I could not stop for Death

Because I could not stop for Death –  He kindly stopped for me –  The Carriage held but just Ourselves –  And Immortality. We slowly drove – He knew no haste And I had put … Continue reading

January 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sam Hamill: Coming to It

A midnight cup of sake, a strange solitude. Is this all I’ve become?   Old and alone, bending over a poem written in loneliness by some old Chinese bag o’ … Continue reading

January 10, 2018 · 1 Comment

Frida Berrigan: “Do Kids Die, Mom?”

Facing the Future With Trepidation in the Age of Trump As a mother and an activist, here’s what I’ve concluded as 2018 begins: it’s getting harder and harder to think … Continue reading

January 10, 2018 · 2 Comments