Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Dan Turello: Craft your own renaissance with tips from Boccaccio’s Decameron

A few years ago, on a crisp winter afternoon, I found a beautiful bound translation of The Decameron at the Black Swan bookstore in Staunton, Virginia….I bought it immediately and took it back to a friend’s cabin where a group of us had gathered for the weekend.

May 12, 2021 · Leave a comment

Amy M. Alvarez, Jameka Harley: How Black poets and writers gave a voice to ‘Affrilachia’

A turning point took place 30 years ago, when Black Appalachian culture experienced a renaissance centered around a single word: “Affrilachia.”

May 11, 2021 · 1 Comment

Ted Kooser: Mudflaps

Out driving, I like to come up behind trucks
with mudflaps, chalky, slate-colored ones
hanging onto their hard jobs

May 11, 2021 · 1 Comment

Robert P. Alvarez: Humanizing the People Police Kill

The standard, often unreliable reporting on police killings dehumanizes victims — a fact my own family knows too well.

May 10, 2021 · 3 Comments

Paul Christensen: What the Rain Says

She would die soon but neither of us knew that. Right now, the precious hours were dissolving in the pale afternoon light, just as the rain began again.

May 9, 2021 · 8 Comments

Video: The Box

You’ve heard the phrase “Think outside the box”?

May 8, 2021 · 1 Comment

Janette Schafer: On the day I testify for Homeland Security

Janette agreed to share these details publicly to help allay the stigma, shame, and secrecy inherent with being a sex abuse survivor.

May 8, 2021 · 3 Comments

William Wordsworth: Lines Written in Early Spring

Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?

May 7, 2021 · 3 Comments

Joe Loria: Factory Farming Is Killing Our Planet. Here’s How.

To protect the planet, we need to protect farmed animals.

May 7, 2021 · 3 Comments

Karen Greenberg: Will America’s Forever Offshore Prison Ever Be Closed?

Can Guantánamo ever be shut down?

May 6, 2021 · 1 Comment

Kareem Tayyar: Gas Station

The Indian woman behind the counter
is reading The Upanishads when I enter.
The radio is playing a French chanson.
The photograph on the wall to my left
features John F. Kennedy…

May 6, 2021 · 4 Comments

Thaddeus L. Johnson, Natasha N. Johnson: American cities have long struggled to reform their police – but isolated success stories suggest community and officer buy-in might be key

Getting police and community on board with reforms is crucial for success.

May 5, 2021 · Leave a comment

Nina Kossman: Upon seeing a portrait of Genrikh Yagoda* on a wall in a Moscow police station

so many feet that did not run away,
so many mouths that did not speak,
so many inheritors of what can’t be described

May 5, 2021 · Leave a comment

Abby Zimet | Killology Inc: America’s Police

The murders by cop go on – the latest, Lymond Moses, was asleep in his car – prompting furious calls for police reform from many weary of the carnage.

May 4, 2021 · 3 Comments

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