Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Patricia A. Nugent: From Ugly to Mean

Travelogues don’t typically interest me. I cringe when I ask someone (just to be polite), “How was your trip?” and they give a blow-by-blow of the sights, activities, and food. … Continue reading

August 16, 2018 · 8 Comments

Paul Christensen: Europe’s Heat Wave

Here’s what you give up in a heat wave here in southern France. You don’t leave the house much, since the paved streets can reach well above one hundred degrees … Continue reading

August 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Gargano: Why I Chose to Be My Mother’s Caretaker

Living on Human Time When I tell friends and acquaintances that my eighty-nine-year-old mother will be moving in with my husband and me, I get two kinds of stares. One … Continue reading

August 11, 2018 · 2 Comments

Marc Jampole: The long-term effects of separating children from their parents

The real tragedy of separating children from their parents will come years from now when the kids suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These past few days, I’ve been feeling a … Continue reading

August 8, 2018 · 1 Comment

Sara Bir: A Brief History of the Feral Blackberry

The Himalayan blackberry was introduced to North America as a food crop. Like a Gremlin doused with water, it escaped its confinement and became almost impossible to eradicate. . Blackberries … Continue reading

August 4, 2018 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: Mary Borden’s The Forbidden Zone, a near-forgotten masterpiece

Recently, PBS aired a documentary marking the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War I. Almost in passing, a memoir by Mary Borden who founded a hospital and served as … Continue reading

August 3, 2018 · 1 Comment

Tom Engelhardt: Turning 74 in a Failing World

Three Failing Experiments? Mine, America’s, and Humanity’s.  There was a period in my later life when I used to say that, from the age of 20 to my late sixties, I … Continue reading

July 30, 2018 · 1 Comment

Paul Christensen: The Cedar Forest

There’s a cedar forest near where I live in the south of France, which sprawls across the slopes of a mountain otherwise covered in what the French call the garrigue. … Continue reading

July 29, 2018 · 7 Comments

David Korten: Who Represents Us When Our Political Parties Represent Only Corporations?

Our future depends on bridging the partisan divide that elevates corporate interests above our personal well-being. “Irrespective of where we fall on the political spectrum, a great many of us … Continue reading

July 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

Wyatt Massey: Believe Me, You Don’t Want Someone to Save the World

The change we need comes from the daily actions of many, many people. I want to slap the table and yell, but instead I opt for a smile. I deflect … Continue reading

July 25, 2018 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Kirschner: The Story of Benjamin

Early July, ninety degrees in the shade and me in the crook of my mother’s arms. She has her movie star sunglasses on, purple cat-eye glasses with iris-tinted lenses.      … Continue reading

July 15, 2018 · 1 Comment

Korsha Wilson: Cooking Stirs the Pot for Social Change

Preparing food—and letting others cook for us—is a way to become good citizens who engage with the communities around us. . My arms hurt as I walked through Brooklyn on … Continue reading

July 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Bart Plantenga: A Transsexual, a Chainsaw & a Soiled Toilet

I will always be a stranger who never feels at home Eugene O’Neill . Let me begin by saying that nothing is as it seems and, in this case that … Continue reading

July 12, 2018 · 2 Comments

George Monbiot: In Memoriam

As our wildlife and ecosystems collapse, remembering is a radical act. It felt as disorientating as forgetting my pin number. I stared at the caterpillar, unable to attach a name … Continue reading

July 8, 2018 · 1 Comment