Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Michael Simms: The Courage of Teachers

In 1987, students gathered in front of the admin building angry over the corruption of the university’s board. The crowd was getting ugly. I was a young teacher standing to the side, listening to the speeches, watching warily as the crowd grew. Someone shouted Take Over the Administration! and the crowd chanted Take Over! Take over! Take Over! The crowd, now a mob…

February 27, 2021 · 6 Comments

Video: Black Owned — Chicago

Black Owned, a film series exploring the Black entrepreneurial spirit and its essential contribution to the American economy through the perspectives of business owners.

February 27, 2021 · Leave a comment

Rajan Menon: A Covid-19 Hell on Earth

How This Country Fails Its Most Vulnerable: A Field Guide to Our Threadbare Social Safety Net.

February 26, 2021 · Leave a comment

Kathleen O’Toole: On Grief, in a time of pandemic

What I’m learning about grief is that
it comes and goes, like the shadow in front of me
on the afternoon sidewalk.

February 22, 2021 · 4 Comments

Valerie Bacharach: Elegy for Nathan

An addict is an actor, able to look you in the eye, smile, and lie so convincingly that you begin to question yourself.

February 21, 2021 · 6 Comments

Ray Levy Uyeda: How Organizers Are Fighting an American Legacy of Forced Sterilization

The U.S. has a history of sterilizing women without their knowledge or permission, but states are working to make up for past mistakes.

February 15, 2021 · 2 Comments

Cynthia Atkins: Making Lunch

I pack a thermos, 2 cookies, tart apple slices that will later smile at you from a bag—My noontime missive, a text of seduction.

February 15, 2021 · 4 Comments

Pamela Haines, George Lakey: Why we must start imagining the world we want to live in


The center of America is not Washington, D.C. The center of America is the neighborhoods where 330 million Americans are raising their kids and trying to put food on the table and trying to love their neighbor. That’s the center of America.

February 9, 2021 · 1 Comment

Rachel Hadas: Trying to Get to School

But making my way from A to B
could not be managed easily.
Locked courtyard, blocked alleys, a high wall –
I had to cross or climb them all.

February 8, 2021 · 1 Comment

Hayden Saunier: How I Suit Up for Winter Storms

Boots from my son’s eighth grade year,
outgrown far faster than the heart-deep
humiliations he bore for being gay
that I could not protect him from.

February 6, 2021 · 6 Comments

Leslie Anne Mcilroy: Call Back

The pink half-gown is tied wrong.
I can’t figure out the strings.
My nipples are hard in the
fluorescent waiting room.

February 2, 2021 · 5 Comments

Ursula K. Le Guin: About Anger

Anger points powerfully to the denial of rights, but the exercise of rights can’t live and thrive on anger. It lives and thrives on the dogged pursuit of justice.

January 30, 2021 · 3 Comments

Anna Gotlibis: Trauma unmakes the world of the self. Can stories repair it?

Self-making narratives create the maps of the totality of our physical reality and experiences – or, as philosophers sometimes say, of the lifeworlds that we inhabit.

January 28, 2021 · 2 Comments

Sydney Lea: Gradus ad Parnassum

On the other hand, the open handed
blows left scarce a mark, applied to your head or neck

January 28, 2021 · 1 Comment

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