Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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

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

Lyndsey Stonebridge: The plague novel you need to read is by Bachmann, not Camus

What does it mean to live in the plague – every day, across generations and without an exit strategy?

January 12, 2021 · 4 Comments

Mike Schneider: Against Walls | John le Carré (1931-2020)

Among reasons we’ll remember le Carré, not least is his 1963 breakthrough novel, The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. Set in Cold War Berlin, it’s a classic story of love and espionage centered on the Berlin Wall, both as physical reality and symbol of separation between people — a wall that resonates with 21st-century politics.

January 10, 2021 · 5 Comments

Most Popular Vox Populi Posts of 2020

Happy browsing!

December 26, 2020 · 6 Comments

S. Brent Rodriguez-Plate: Here’s why Christmas movies are so appealing this holiday season

Holiday movies are popular not simply because they are “escapes.” Rather, these films offer viewers a glimpse into the world as it could be.

December 21, 2020 · 1 Comment

Michael Simms: André Breton and the Birth of Surrealism

The Poem was worried. He’d heard rumors of Rondels in other lands being infested with illogic, and there was no known cure.

December 12, 2020 · 13 Comments

Michael Simms: Blue Notes

I think of Fats Waller whose left hand leaped down the keys, showing the path for every jazz pianist who followed, including the great Art Tatum and the minor Billy Joel.

November 28, 2020 · 11 Comments

Angele Ellis: Kelli Stevens Kane’s Songs of Innocence and Experience

In fifty numbered verses—many with the diamond-like compression of Emily Dickinson—Stevens Kane explores how the daily reality of the body suddenly can become extraordinary, paranormal—and how the science of events—such as gravity—can give way to the spiritual…

November 20, 2020 · 1 Comment

Michael Simms: Writing Prompt #1 | The Quotidian Poem

This post marks the beginning of a new irregular feature in Vox Populi. I hope readers of Vox Populi, many of whom are writers, will find the prompt helpful in stimulating their creativity.

November 14, 2020 · 25 Comments

Deborah Bogen: Risk

In Sappho, the spaces name nothing — but the emptiness still speaks.

October 28, 2020 · 3 Comments

Charles Davidson: The “State of Confession” for Christians in the November Election

On the cusp of the most important election in these United States since the eve of the Civil War, a sobering fact is that our own history has eerily caught up with us, just as our history caught up with the Nazis of Germany between the First and Second World Wars.

October 25, 2020 · 3 Comments

Mike Schneider: Bob Dylan’s Ballads of Murder, Drowning & Other Songs of Love

If one of the defining tendencies of post-modernism is breaking down borders between high and low culture—such as between Beethoven and Elvis, Dylan is a supreme post-modernist. The cultural compass inscribed by his work is huge, flattering us by the depth of his learning and song awareness. We can follow or not—the songs don’t care.

October 18, 2020 · 6 Comments

Rachel Hadas:’What goes around comes around,’ or what Greek mythology says about Donald Trump

When I studied and taught Sophocles’ tragedy “Oedipus the King,” the stress was on hubris, irony, blindness. What wasn’t emphasized is that the play was written during and is set in the midst of a plague.

October 15, 2020 · 3 Comments

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