Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Tom Engelhardt: In Praise of Teachers

At almost 74, of all the people in my life, it may be the teachers I remember most vividly. Mrs. Kelly, my first grade teacher (who began it all); my … Continue reading

April 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

Frida Berrigan: Growing Up With the Threat of Pervasive Violence

The Weaponization of Everyday Life Guns. In a country with more than 300 million of them, a country that’s recently been swept up in a round of protests over the … Continue reading

April 18, 2018 · 1 Comment

George Yancy: Should I Give Up on White People?

You deserve to be punished with several fists to your face! You’re nothing but a troublemaker! I’ve had enough of your Racist talk! You’d better watch what you say and … Continue reading

April 17, 2018 · 2 Comments

Djelloul Marbrook: The Prosody of an Ineradicable Sob

My poems, whatever their other springs may be, flow from the meter of my inner voice in creative conflict with an ineradicable sob. When my breathing is interrupted by a … Continue reading

April 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sarah Sunshine Manning: Decolonizing Birth — Women Take Back Their Power as Life-Givers

“We’re just beginning to bring those Indigenous perspectives forward again.” . Zintkala Mahpiya Win Blackowl didn’t plan to have her sixth baby in a tipi on the windy plains of … Continue reading

April 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: The Arrival of Spring

The crocus came up two days ago. I wondered how long it might take to get some sign that spring was on the way. There they are, tough little flowers … Continue reading

April 3, 2018 · 2 Comments

Elizabeth West: Love And Loss In The Anthropocene

As a species, we have been unable to meet the challenges posed by our own misguided attachment to growth. “Easiest to see are the larger and most tangible of consequences … Continue reading

March 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

Ruth Clark: Here in Hereford — The Archer on Sam’s Table

Because we have the archer,  I always arise about the same time to walk him.  He lies patient and silent in his crate as I dress in the big room, … Continue reading

March 29, 2018 · Leave a comment

Patricia A. Nugent: One Ticket to Safer Schools, Please

Last weekend, I bought a ticket to safer schools. I went to a high school musical. As I entered the halls of learning, I sensed the vulnerability of students there. … Continue reading

March 24, 2018 · 2 Comments

Nate Terani: Being Demonized in Your Own Country

Already Hell Enough for This Muslim-American Understand this: I’m an American veteran. I’m also a Muslim-American in a country in which, in these years, that hasn’t exactly been the happiest … Continue reading

March 23, 2018 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: And the Green Card Moon Shines Brightly Over the Beautiful Black Ocean

That weekend started off with another encounter with the woman who always tailgates me when I’m trying to stay somewhat close to the school zone speed limit. I’d just dropped … Continue reading

March 22, 2018 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: My Lai

March 16, 1968. Fifty years ago, U. S. soldiers killed as many as 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians. Perhaps the worst war crime in American history. Two years after that, I … Continue reading

March 20, 2018 · 1 Comment

Mark Kramer: Walking, and Thoughts Along The Way

In the 2010 indie film The Way, the actor Emilio Estevez says to the actor Martin Sheen, who’s both Estevez’s on-screen and real-life father: “You don’t choose a life, Dad. … Continue reading

March 18, 2018 · 1 Comment

Molly Fisk: An Apiary Has Nothing to Do with Apes

One of the things I’m good at is linking people together. Not match-making,  although two couples have married who fell in love during my poetry class. Usually it’s more practical: … Continue reading

March 12, 2018 · 2 Comments