Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Mel Packer: A History of Deadly Meddling

In this essay, we hear a first-hand account from Mel Packer who was one of the Americans who visited Iran during the hostage crisis of 1980.

February 9, 2020 · 2 Comments

Paul Christensen: When the Ice Won’t Melt

It’s one of those diamond-bright days of early winter, with the ground ringing like iron when you walk on it.

February 6, 2020 · Leave a comment

Kazu Haga: Why we need to move closer to King’s understanding of nonviolence

When we use nonviolence to confront violence and injustice, we are not disturbing the peace, we are disturbing complacency. We are disturbing the normalization of violence.

February 2, 2020 · Leave a comment

Molly Ivins: Greatest Hits

“I have been attacked by Rush Limbaugh on the air, an experience somewhat akin to being gummed by a newt. It doesn’t actually hurt, but it leaves you with slimy stuff on your ankle.”

February 1, 2020 · 4 Comments

Daniel Burston: ‘In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts’

If Americans re-elect Trump, he will shatter what little is left of American democracy, rendering the whole system of governance completely dysfunctional or irrelevant, and all American citizens ever more vulnerable to corruption and manipulation by anti-democratic powers abroad, imperiling the lives of virtually everyone on this planet in the not too distant future.

January 27, 2020 · 1 Comment

Margot Mifflin: Ink Sessions

When a tattoo marks a personal transformation, or the reclaiming of an abused body, the tattoo artist becomes a healer.

January 25, 2020 · Leave a comment

Marco North: After the Circus Left Town

There is nothing like the righteous anger of a true New Yorker.

January 21, 2020 · Leave a comment

Paul Christensen: Snow Bound

The snow and the dark wind, the impassable wastes of one’s backyard, the icy draft that leaks in under the front door tell you you have no place to go. You must sit down and allow the slightly old-fashioned language of self to drift in.

January 19, 2020 · 3 Comments

Sydney Lea: Passing the Arts and Crafts Fair

There aren’t many like him anymore, the handy, soft-spoken old ones, who still know how to farm, how to raise up a house you can live in, how to still-hunt a whitetail.

January 17, 2020 · Leave a comment

Chris Hedges: The Miracle of Kindness

Take a brief journey through the eyes of American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges to Jerusalem, Gaza, and Iraq, and discover the sacred bonds that make us human.

January 15, 2020 · 5 Comments

Kathy Kelly: I am an Eyewitness to the Horrors of the US Forever Wars

Mainstream media seldom help us recognize ourselves as a menacing, warrior nation. Yet we must look in the mirror held up by historical circumstances if we’re ever to accomplish credible change.

January 7, 2020 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: The Story of Autumn House Press (1998-2020)

Most literary presses fade away when the founder leaves, so I cannot tell you how much it thrills me that AHP continues into the second generation.

January 5, 2020 · 8 Comments

Gerald Fleming: City of Breath

People here stop and listen to children’s conversations. People here not only wait in line—say, at the bakery—but in that line come to agreement as to who rightly should go first—the frail old man, for instance, who has trouble with his legs, the mother who needs to hurry home & cook, the busboy from the café sent to buy more bread for a sudden crowd, and only then the couple, plenty of time, buying bread for dinner.

January 3, 2020 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: Scarf

The old man and the blonde woman smiled and waved at me, and I felt a surge of gratitude to be among such decent people in this lovely city in a dark time when the light of kindness seems so rare.

January 1, 2020 · 10 Comments

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