Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Dan Turello: Craft your own renaissance with tips from Boccaccio’s Decameron

A few years ago, on a crisp winter afternoon, I found a beautiful bound translation of The Decameron at the Black Swan bookstore in Staunton, Virginia….I bought it immediately and took it back to a friend’s cabin where a group of us had gathered for the weekend.

May 12, 2021 · Leave a comment

Amy M. Alvarez, Jameka Harley: How Black poets and writers gave a voice to ‘Affrilachia’

A turning point took place 30 years ago, when Black Appalachian culture experienced a renaissance centered around a single word: “Affrilachia.”

May 11, 2021 · 1 Comment

Joel Christensen: What Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ can teach us about reentering the world after a year of isolation

Homer can help guide us as we return back to our normal worlds after a year of minimizing social contact. He can also, I believe, offer guidance on how people can heal.

April 26, 2021 · Leave a comment

Chard deNiord: “We Will Not Give Up on Each Other”: A Conversation with Major Jackson

We are living in an age of absurdity, but I am casting for wider seas.

April 25, 2021 · 1 Comment

Jason Irwin: A Stillness Nearly Mineral | The poetry of Robert Gibb

A stillness which is very nearly mineral
Keeps insisting upon the essential
Loneliness with which this light is filled.

April 16, 2021 · Leave a comment

Video: Mary Beard | Women in Power

The Western world’s demonization of women in power can be traced back to Ancient Greece, argues the celebrated UK classicist Mary Beard.

April 15, 2021 · Leave a comment

Yana Djin: The Dead Don’t Die | The Poetry of Dmitry Melnikoff

And they lie at the edge of light alone
at the place where snow never hits
Kahlo embraces Diego’s barebone
and they emanate heat.

April 3, 2021 · Leave a comment

Rachel Hadas: Holding on to hope is hard, even with the pandemic’s end in sight – wisdom from poets through the ages

As we begin to glimpse what might be the beginning of the end of the pandemic, what does hope mean? It’s hard not to sense the presence of hope, but how do we think of it?

March 23, 2021 · 2 Comments

Michael Simms: The Trojan Women

The slaves in the dark hold of the ship cannot climb out or go back to where things went wrong. There’s no light, no voice of comfort, just chaos and darkness where they have to find their own peace without the kindness of others.

March 14, 2021 · 14 Comments

Tara Lohan: Extinction Is Erasing the Earth’s Music

People often ask me, “What can one person do?” And I say, “Stop being one person.”

March 10, 2021 · 1 Comment

Angele Ellis: “Subterranean Lovesick Clues” | Alexis Rhone Fancher’s Poetic Topography of Sex

Emotions wrestle with physicality in the twisted sheets of Erotic.

March 2, 2021 · 2 Comments

Abby Zimet: Rest In Poetry

We bid fond farewell to Lawrence Ferlinghetti, indefatigable poet, publisher, painter, pacifist, iconoclast, political activist, “heart of the Beat generation” and “legend of American letters, bookselling, rabble rousing, wild dreaming.”

February 25, 2021 · Leave a comment

Arlene Weiner: Nobody’s coming to save the children

Catherine Doty’s pitiless poems beautifully show us what we don’t want to see: children’s poverty, abuse, neglect. And their meanness. Poor children living in squalor, which Doty’s language often veils in lyrical glamor.

February 23, 2021 · 4 Comments

Ariel Dorfman: How Spanish Can Help Us Survive Viral Times

A Journey into the Heart of a Language We Need Now More Than Ever.

February 19, 2021 · 3 Comments

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