Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Paul Christensen: The Bluest Sky

He knew the rotting nature of poverty and the dull, disintegrating poison of lost hope. He had some of the dark anger of Walt Whitman, who could charm a winter tree back into bloom with his dreams and turn on his heels and find despair tearing at the entrails of the ordinary man.

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Rachel Hadas: Tiger Stripes

Caught in a beam of morning sun,
massive transitions are going on,
each nation and each generation
vying for who will take possession
of the Hotel Anxiety

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Majid Naficy: Seven Poems During Trump

You are that apple worm which overnight
Grew into a bloodthirsty dragon
Like Haftvad’s worm in the “Ardashir Chronicles”.

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Richard Levine: One Night in America

The first time I noticed my hands
trembling, I was still a young man,
just returned from a war…

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Video: “IN THIS PLACE (AN AMERICAN LYRIC)” by Amanda Gorman

“In This Place (An American Lyric)” features a stirring choral recitation of a protest-themed poem by Amanda Gorman who will be delivering the presidential inaugural poem on January 20.

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Lawrence W. Britt: 14 Characteristics of Fascism

Historian Lawrence Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile) and found they had 14 elements in common. He calls these … Continue reading

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Kenny Stancil: Janet Yellen Bolsters Demand for Biden to Enact Bold FDR-Style Agenda

During her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen endorsed progressives’ demand for Biden to pursue a bold and egalitarian relief, recovery, and reform program.

January 20, 2021 · 1 Comment

Liz Theoharis: The Nation Must Have the Moral Courage To Carry on the Work of Martin Luther King Jr.

Many have claimed that those rioters (and the president’s infamous “base” more generally) were all, in essence, poor, working-class white people. In reality, however, among those who have led such racist attacks are business leaders, executives, and multimillionaires.

January 19, 2021 · 3 Comments

Kathleen O’Toole: For Such a Time as This

The poet’s ability to inhabit the events, and actors, with King himself center stage, contribute to the power of this collection. Moreover, the questions these poems raise could not be more timely.

January 18, 2021 · 1 Comment

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley: Our Casualties

We were living at the Mount Clinton Internally Displaced Refugee camp outside of Roseville the day his death news came in. It struck something throughout the camp of thousands, like an axe cutting through hard wood…

January 18, 2021 · 4 Comments

Pierre Tristam: No, Open Sedition Is Not a First Amendment Right

Making up facts and assaulting truth are hallmarks of the Trump cult.

January 17, 2021 · 2 Comments

Deborah Bogen: Bashō

Sweet friend, hear me. There will always be trouble.

January 17, 2021 · 2 Comments

George Yancy: Capitol Mob Reveals Ongoing Refusal to Accept Black Votes as Legitimate

Frederick Douglass embraced the promise of the Declaration, even while he condemned the United States as a land of hypocrisy, because people talk about freedom, but in fact they deprive millions of their freedom.

January 16, 2021 · 2 Comments

Video: The Nazi Officer’s Wife

Edith Hahn was an outspoken young woman in Vienna when the Gestapo forced her into a ghetto and then into a slave labor camp. When she returned home months later, she knew she would become a hunted woman and went underground. Then she met Werner Vetter, a Nazi Party member who fell in love with her.

January 16, 2021 · 4 Comments

Tony Magistrale: When Viruses Collide: Covid-19 Meets Stephen King’s The Stand

Published in 1978, The Stand, a narrative that centers on a pandemic virus that decimates 99% of the world’s population, has perhaps hit a bit too close to home.

January 15, 2021 · 2 Comments

Denise Levertov: Clouds

as if death had lit a pale light
in your flesh, your flesh
was cold to my touch, or not cold
but cool, cooling

January 15, 2021 · 2 Comments

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