Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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 · Leave a comment

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 · Leave a 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 · Leave a 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

Belle Chesler: High School Students — The Canaries in the Coal Mine of American Disaster

“It was no surprise to anyone who knew him to hear that he was the shooter.” — Emma Gonzalez, Senior, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Over the past three weeks, … Continue reading

March 13, 2018 · 4 Comments

James Tolan: Evening Trees

My grandfather was a storyteller who died when I was young. He would take me for walks among the evening trees and know they were alive, pulsing with the life … Continue reading

March 13, 2018 · 1 Comment

Molly Fisk: An Apiary Has Nothing to Do with Apes

One of the things I’m good at is linking people together. Not match-making,  although two couples have married who fell in love during my poetry class. Usually it’s more practical: … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · 1 Comment

David R. Montgomery: Healthy soil is the real key to feeding the world

One of the biggest modern myths about agriculture is that organic farming is inherently sustainable. It can be, but it isn’t necessarily. After all, soil erosion from chemical-free tilled fields … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Video: Nutag — Homeland

. Painted frame by frame, a vivid animation restores a history lost to deportation. In 1942, Nazi forces captured a portion of the Kalmyk Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, home to … Continue reading

March 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Majid Naficy: Languages of My Father

My father knew other languages Besides Persian. When dementia came upon him He wanted to test his memory So he puckered his lips And sang in German time after time: … Continue reading

March 11, 2018 · 1 Comment