Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Ann Fisher-Wirth: Prayer

Let the mothers rush toward their babies and wrap their arms around them tight enough to hold back even the sea if it would harm them.   Let the anguish … Continue reading

June 19, 2018 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: From “Ghetto Hawk — The Diary of Publius”

11/6 I held Sam after class today. He stared out the window and cried.   He tells me that he just wants to go home. We discuss his behavior. Sam … Continue reading

June 19, 2018 · 1 Comment

Rosaly DeMaios Roffman: Guided Imagery — With Respect for the Sea’s Language

Yesterday someone said “See grief through God’s eyes” and when I try to do that I rescue the memory of  blue mist an image that draws from shadows:   I … Continue reading

June 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Video: Behind the Bars

. The African-American poet who travelled 1,200 miles to Harvard, only to be thrown in jail. I am a pilgrim far from home, A wanderer like Mars, And thought my … Continue reading

June 17, 2018 · 2 Comments

Michael Simms: Names

Lea wants to change her name to Tina. Her mother says she must think very carefully because a name has to fit. The wrong name can bind like someone else’s … Continue reading

June 16, 2018 · 3 Comments

Video: Ma Mama

. In this imaginative animated video, two lovers explore a patterned jungle world and meet some animal friends along the way. Director Katy Wang says, “I had so much fun creating … Continue reading

June 16, 2018 · Leave a comment

Joan E. Bauer: River Dolphin of the Yangtze

We sailed on a river boat down the Yangtze twenty years ago—before the Three Gorges Dam   & the rising water lowered the mountains. That day the peaks shrouded with … Continue reading

June 15, 2018 · Leave a comment

Majid Naficy: The Signs of My Mother

Oh high moon! What are you waiting for? Follow your path quickly And carry my message to Isfahan From the window of my bedroom. My mother is still awake And … Continue reading

June 14, 2018 · Leave a comment

Elizabeth Romero: Debt

If I could be half-blind with reverie, or bathed breast-deep in seas of lives gone by, perhaps I could express all that you gave to me, or whisper worlds into … Continue reading

June 13, 2018 · Leave a comment

Stephen Dobyns: Pursuit

Each thing I do I rush through so I can do something else. In such a way do the days pass— a blend of stock car racing and the never … Continue reading

June 12, 2018 · Leave a comment

Andrea Hollander: Room to Room

And then I began to muse, the way all of us do who have been let down, betrayed, left to wander room to room, taking a stack of dishtowels from … Continue reading

June 11, 2018 · 1 Comment

Video: Lucille Clifton reads her poems at Lannan

. Lucille Clifton was born in 1936 in Depew, New York and died in 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. Her luminous and incisive poems have been published in nine books, including The Book of … Continue reading

June 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Video: Young Ian McKellan Jamming Shakespeare with Fleshtones on Warhol’s TV show (1987)

.   Andy Warhol’s Fifteen Minutes which aired on MTV in the late 1980s was a multimedia circus featuring “The high and the low. The rich and the famous. The struggling … Continue reading

June 9, 2018 · Leave a comment

Kathryn Levy: The Protest

I’m afraid for my daughter. I’m afraid for the air my daughter keeps breathing—or struggling to breathe. I am afraid for myself—at night I can hear them, the huge missiles … Continue reading

June 8, 2018 · 8 Comments