Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

John Samuel Tieman: My Lai

March 16, 1968. Fifty years ago, U. S. soldiers killed as many as 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians. Perhaps the worst war crime in American history. Two years after that, I … Continue reading

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Jenni Monet: What Standing Rock Gave the World

Americans saw the Indigenous struggle—the violence, stolen resources, colluding corporations and governments—that goes hand in hand with protecting the Earth. At the height of the movement at Standing Rock, Indigenous … Continue reading

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George Monbiot: Unprostrated

I have prostate cancer, but I’m happy. Here’s how. It came, as these things often do, like a gunshot on a quiet street: shocking and disorienting. In early December, my … Continue reading

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Beth Copeland: Dear Omniscient Narrator

Please don’t let me linger   in the ellipses of dementia and disease   murmuring goodbye again and again to family and friends.   Write a simple sentence with a … Continue reading

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Venantius J. Pinto: Sketches from a Notebook

. . . . Venantius J. Pinto studied Shodo through Kyoiku Shuji, and Nihon Shuji, Japan; and at the Pratt Institute. He currently lives in New York. Note: The second … Continue reading

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Video: Charlie Chaplin — Modern Times “Nonsense Song” (1936)

. When Chaplin sang this song in Modern Times, he was internationally famous, but it was the very first time that the world had heard his voice, after two decades of … Continue reading

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Mark Kramer: Walking, and Thoughts Along The Way

In the 2010 indie film The Way, the actor Emilio Estevez says to the actor Martin Sheen, who’s both Estevez’s on-screen and real-life father: “You don’t choose a life, Dad. … Continue reading

March 18, 2018 · 1 Comment

Zenobia Jeffries: The Racist Origin of the Second Amendment and the Rise of Black Gun Ownership

Many people of color are faced with uneasy support for a civil right that began as a way to oppress them.  . Siwatu-Salama Ra, 26, will likely spend the next … Continue reading

March 17, 2018 · 2 Comments

Ace Boggess: Noise

sit by the phone that never rings awaiting whatever silence follows silence   a black cat shrieks unheard from the street while a lime-green truck shreds linings of its brakes … Continue reading

March 17, 2018 · 1 Comment

Video: A Murmuration of Starlings

. The flight of a starling flock at dusk, known as a murmuration, is one of nature’s most beguiling sights. Blurring the line between the individual and the group, murmurations … Continue reading

March 16, 2018 · 1 Comment

Eric Holthaus: Up in Smoke

Trees are dying at unprecedented rates. Can we rethink conservation before it’s too late? Each year, the Earth’s trees suck more than a hundred billion tons of carbon dioxide from … Continue reading

March 16, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sarah Stitzlein: Teaching students how to dissent is part of democracy

In scenes unprecedented in previous school shootings, the past few weeks have been marked by students taking to the streets, to the media, to corporations and elected officials in protest over … Continue reading

March 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Audio: Mississippi John Hurt “I shall not be moved”

. Biography by Bruce Eder No blues singer ever presented a more gentle, genial image than Mississippi John Hurt (1892-1966). A guitarist with an extraordinarily lyrical and refined fingerpicking style, he … Continue reading

March 15, 2018 · 1 Comment

Steven Singer: Reasons People Hate, Hate, HATE Betsy DeVos

Lesley Stahl: Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary? Education Sec. Betsy DeVos: I’m not sure exactly how that happened… I’m more misunderstood than anything. . … Continue reading

March 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

Lindsey Royce: Hooray For Me, The Hell With You

In an immaculate boardroom, whose cherry-wood meeting table, credenza, and wet bar, one that overlooks the Lincoln Memorial, maybe the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, where a group of political cons … Continue reading

March 14, 2018 · Leave a comment