Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Daniel Burston: 'In Your Guts You Know He's Nuts'

If Americans re-elect Trump, he will shatter what little is left of American democracy, rendering the whole system of governance completely dysfunctional or irrelevant, and all American citizens ever more vulnerable to corruption and manipulation by anti-democratic powers abroad, imperiling the lives of virtually everyone on this planet in the not too distant future.

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Danusha Laméris: Omens

I wish I could make sense
of the child’s empty bed,
the bullet hole though my brother’s heart.

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Video: The Watchmaker

Finding chaos and precision in all things – a philosophy of watchmaking.

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Olga Tokarczuk: The Tender Narrator (Nobel Lecture)

I believe I must tell stories as if the world were a living, single entity, constantly forming before our eyes, and as if we were a small and at the same time powerful part of it.

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Doug Anderson: One More Morning

Let me say that love will not
let me alone. If it has let you alone, go back
and find it where you hid it under a scrim
of scar-tissue.

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Video — Falling Lessons: Erasure One, a poem by Beth Copeland

. Director Anh Vu, working with the organization Motionpoems, created this video of Beth Copeland’s poem which interweaves images of the natural world with books, papers and other evidence of … Continue reading

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Margot Mifflin: Ink Sessions

When a tattoo marks a personal transformation, or the reclaiming of an abused body, the tattoo artist becomes a healer.

January 25, 2020 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: Re-reading Christina Rossetti's 'In an Artist's Studio'

The value of Rossetti’s poem lies in both the expert use of the Petrarchan sonnet, a particularly challenging form to master in English, and in the poet’s complex stance on the role of art in creating and re-enforcing images of women.

January 24, 2020 · Leave a comment

Charlotte Turner Smith: Sonnet Written in the Churchyard at Middleton in Sussex

She saw herself as a poet first and foremost, poetry at that period being considered the most exalted form of literature. Scholars now credit her with transforming the sonnet into an expression of woeful sentiment. Although an important writer and poet, Smith had a difficult family life and died in poverty, largely forgotten.

January 24, 2020 · Leave a comment

Mandy Smithberger: How The Military-Industrial Complex Gets Away With Murder in Contract After Contract

Washington has already spent at least $2 trillion on its war in Afghanistan alone, and the corruption, waste, and failure associated with those expenditures was (or at least should have been) mindboggling.

January 23, 2020 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: Prelude to a Highly Personal Confabulation of Zen and the Art of War

how I could one day live in New York City
with half my mind in a flame-like state
of absolute intensity

January 23, 2020 · Leave a comment

Nick Engelfried: How Generation Z is leading the climate movement

From the rise of organizations like Zero Hour to Greta Thunberg’s Fridays For Future, the youth climate movement is only just getting started.

January 22, 2020 · Leave a comment

S. B. Merrow: A Becoming Place

A pop-up wilderness west of the Piedmont,
folded land of sudden impediments
scored by creeks and runs

January 22, 2020 · Leave a comment

Emma Parker: This young woman created 784 paintings while hiding from the Nazis

Together these sequential images tell a family history, focussing on a central character called Charlotte Kann, a semi-autobiographical version of Salomon herself. They document Charlotte’s development as an artist, her struggles against madness and her first love affair, all painted against a backdrop of increasingly violent Nazi rule.

January 21, 2020 · Leave a comment

Marco North: After the Circus Left Town

There is nothing like the righteous anger of a true New Yorker.

January 21, 2020 · Leave a comment

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