Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Michael Simms: All-time Most Popular Posts in Vox Populi

Vox Populi was founded on April 1, 2014 when Nisha Gupta and I met for coffee and decided to start a website to support the anti-fracking activists in Western Pennsylvania. After our friend Joseph Carreno designed the site, we started posting articles and interviews about the damage being done to the water and air of this region and what activists were doing to try to stop the destruction. Later, we decided to post poetry as well in order to make the website less wonky. Well, we lost the battle over fracking, but meanwhile the website had grown in popularity, so we continued posting. Nisha went on to do other things (teach, write, make films), but I continued the daily posts, adding to the mix of poetry and politics a selection of short films, vegan recipes, and personal essays. So far, I’ve posted over 5,000 items. The daily blog has about 11,200 subscribers and a strong presence in social media, and VP publishes some of the best writers and artists in the country. Evidently, a carefully curated selection of poetry, art and political commentary from a progressive standpoint (a ‘gazette of the left’ as I like to call it) meets a need among readers. My favorite comment about Vox Populi comes from contributor Doug Anderson who said, “Vox Populi is basically a personal blog that seems to have swallowed a small planet.”

Below is a list of our most popular posts over the last six years in the categories of Poetry, Political Articles, Personal Essays, Art/Music/Film, and Health and Nutrition, as well as additional links to my personal favorites in each category. Please do let us know which posts are your favorites.

(By the way, subscriptions to VP are free. Simply go to the bottom of the page and type in your email address to start receiving daily posts.)



Danusha Lameris: Small Kindnesses

Video: Lawrence Ferlinghetti reads “Pity the Nation” (text included)

Audio: Flannery O’Connor reads “A Good Man is Hard to Find” (rare recording)

Doug Anderson: Hourglass

Naomi Shihab Nye: To Netanyahu

Editor’s choices:

Stephen Dobyns: The Gardener

Leslie McGrath: The Death of Dogs

Political Articles

Joshua Dubois: What the President Secretly did at Sandy Hook

Noam Chomsky: The Death of the American University

George Lakoff: Trump Tweets, Press Leaps

Andy Piascik: Looking Back at the Vietnam War

Lawrence W. Britt: 14 Characteristics of Fascism

Editor’s choices:

Adrienne Rich: On Poetry, Freedom and Silence

Tom Engelhardt: In Memoriam | A Planet of Missing Beauties

Personal Essays

Mary Oliver: The Artist’s Task

Marilyn Monroe: Men Are Climbing To The Moon But They Don’t Seem Interested in the Beating Human Heart

Gerald Fleming: A Letter to my Republican Friend

John Samuel Tieman: Thank You for Your Service

Adrian Blevins: Portrait of my X

Editor’s choices:

Topher Sanders: “Only White People,” Said the Little Girl

Eva-Maria Simms: Muzot in Winter


Video: Frida Kahlo (rare footage)

Hieronymous Bosch: Butt music

Video: Claude Monet Painting the Lily Pond (rare footage)

Video: Operatico Politico vs Trump (Rossini Edition)

Video: “The Ballad of the Skeletons” by Allen Ginsberg with Paul McCartney and Philip Glass

Editor’s choices:

Banksy: Don’t Forget to Eat Your Lunch and Make Some Trouble

Hans Runneson: Woman Hitting neo-Nazi with her handbag, 1985

Health and Nutrition

Billy Clem: As My Death Approaches

Ben Martin: COVID-19 and Philip Roth’s Nemesis

Michael Simms: On the Spectrum with Garrison Keillor

Anne Lamott: Notes on Hope

The Vegan Kitchen: Rustic Red Cabbage and Potato Soup

Editor’s choices:

Jeffrey D. Sachs: Why the US Has the World’s Highest Number of Covid-19 Deaths

Michelle D. Holmes, M.D: Re-Opening America


Also, I want to recognize Chard deNiord for his many beautiful poems he’s allowed me to include in Vox Populi.


And finally, a shout out to our awesome contributing editors and support team: Dawn Potter, Jose Padua, Abby Zimet, Joan E. Bauer, David Huddle, Mel Packer, Nicholas Simms, Sandy Solomon, Philip Terman and Arlene Weiner.

Prose and compilation copyright 2020 Michael Simms

Graffiti by Banksy

6 comments on “Michael Simms: All-time Most Popular Posts in Vox Populi

  1. michaelgregoryaz
    June 8, 2020

    Congratulations, Michael. A worthy collection. It’s a pleasure to be connected, to have Vox Populi waiting in my inbox every morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ruth
    June 8, 2020

    For today’s favorite I choose Mary Oliver’s The Artist’s Task. Doug’s comment nailed it. Kudos to you, Michael, on the vibrant and evocative life of VP.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Barbara Huntington
    June 7, 2020

    Just emailed this to my desktop email so I can peruse at leisure, although I recognize ( and appreciate) many of the poems and articles. Thank you, Michael Simms. Vox Populi is a lifeline for this old gal in her physical seclusion. (Realized yesterday I have not touched a human in 90 days—how long can we go without human touch?)

    Liked by 2 people

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