Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Will Kaufman: Woody Guthrie, ‘Old Man Trump’ and a real estate empire’s racist foundations

In 1950, Woody Guthrie moved to an apartment building in Brooklyn. His landlord: Fred Trump, father of Donald. And yes, Woody wrote a song about it.

August 23, 2019 · 1 Comment

Video: Daybreak Express

D A Pennebaker, who died recently, transformed documentary filmmaking. This is his first film. [running time: 5 minutes]

August 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: The HU

The HU is a band from Mongolia that blends heavy metal and traditional Mongolian throat singing. Some of the band’s lyrics include old Mongolian war cries and poetry.

July 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Variations

I heard the history
of the Huberman Stradivarius
how it was stolen and painted
with shoe polish to hide it

July 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: The Mauritania Railway — Backbone of the Sahara

The Mauritania Railway: Backbone of the Sahara follows the journey of Malick, a 27 year-old merchant who relies on the train for his livelihood, even as he risks death each time he climbs aboard. Despite the danger, the train is a lifeline for Malick and the families that live along the railway’s path.

June 30, 2019 · 1 Comment

Video: Nora Brown plays two old-time banjo tunes

In a mesmerizing set, musician Nora Brown breathes new life into two old-time banjo tunes: “East Virginia” and “John Brown’s Dream.” An evocative performance paired with a quick history of the banjo’s evolution.

June 22, 2019 · Leave a comment

Mark Allan Jackson: Reactionaries love it, but country music has a progressive heart

Right from the start, country music spoke up with a progressive voice.

June 22, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: “Optimism” by Jane Hirshfield

out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs—all this resinous, unretractable earth

June 9, 2019 · 1 Comment

Video: Mobilize

In her short film Mobilize, Caroline Monnet – a Canadian filmmaker and artist of French and Algonquin origin – uses archival documentary footage to honor the restless diligence of Canada’s indigenous people.

May 26, 2019 · 1 Comment

John Samuel Tieman: Caedmon’s Hymn

One evening, as the monks sang and played the harp, Caedmon slipped away. He knew no songs. Thus embarrassed, he spent the night sleeping with the animals. In his dream, “someone”, Bede says, approached Caedmon, and asked him to sing of the beginning of all things.

May 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Cornelius Eady: Nina’s Blues

We drum rest
We drum thank you
We drum stay.

May 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: Mumford & Sons — “Beloved”

A boy visits his mother in the hospital and imagines a perfect day with her: And as you leave you must know you are belovedAnd as you leave I can … Continue reading

May 11, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: Lonesome Willcox

                            Rex Allen, The Singing Cowboy . . Willcox, Arizona is a country music town that isn’t … Continue reading

April 28, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: Skylight — More Than Meets the Eye

This revealing video from the American Museum of Natural History guides us through celestial views at several electromagnetic frequencies, demonstrating how specialised telescopes reach beyond the visible spectrum to help demystify the observable Universe.

April 21, 2019 · 2 Comments

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