Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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 · 10 Comments

Audio: Art Tatum | Tiger Rag

“I only play the piano, but tonight God is in the house” — Fats Waller, on Art Tatum

November 28, 2020 · 1 Comment

Video: Rising Appalachia | Resilient

These times are poignant
The winds have shifted
It’s all we can do
To stay uplifted

November 27, 2020 · Leave a comment

Video: Freed by Fire

“Freed by Fire” follows Molina, a 12-year old Malawian girl who becomes another child in a forced marriage. One female chief is tirelessly working to stop it.

November 22, 2020 · Leave a comment

Video: Club des Belugas | Straight to Memphis| Brenda Boykin

In this wildly original montage, Club Des Belugas pays tribute to African American entertainers in mid-century Hollywood.

November 7, 2020 · 1 Comment

George Drew: I Know You’re in Detroit

Aretha, I apologize for having never written a poem
for or about you, not in all the Hit Parades of years
I’ve grooved to you…

November 7, 2020 · 1 Comment

Lu Aya: Poems to get out the vote

In times of unprecedented destruction, these poems encourage all people to get out the vote as an act of love.

November 3, 2020 · Leave a comment

Video: Radical Spoken Word | Eleanor Goldfield

Political poetry intertwined with powerful activist art.

November 2, 2020 · 2 Comments

Video: The Day Democracy Died

No, don’t let democracy die
He’s a famous ignoramus
Can’t tell truth from a lie

October 24, 2020 · 1 Comment

Video: All You Fascists Bound to Lose | Resistance Revival Chorus

“I’m gonna tell you fascists/You may be surprised,” Woody sings. “The people in this world/Are getting organized.”

October 18, 2020 · 2 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 · 5 Comments

Video: The Lost Words Blessing

Enter the wild with care, my love
And speak the things you see

September 27, 2020 · 2 Comments

Cristina Robinson, et al: Complex birdsongs help biologists piece together the evolution of lifelong learning

Our human ability to learn language slows down as we get older, but scientists are not sure how or why this happens. An unexpected way to understand this learning process might come from listening to birds sing.

September 13, 2020 · 3 Comments

Alexis Rhone Fancher: Listening to Bill Evans Play Stella By Starlight

. “I listen to Stella by Starlight and shiver deep in a nameless place.” – Gary Lemons     Side tracked, hijacked, The words unnecessary, but Each syncopated  Lyric, each … Continue reading

September 12, 2020 · 3 Comments

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