Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Chard deNiord: “We Will Not Give Up on Each Other”: A Conversation with Major Jackson

We are living in an age of absurdity, but I am casting for wider seas.

April 25, 2021 · 1 Comment

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: Bury Me in a Free Land

All that my yearning spirit craves,
Is bury me not in a land of slaves.

August 14, 2020 · 6 Comments

Paul Laurence Dunbar: Sympathy

I know why the caged bird beats his wing
Till its blood is red on the cruel bars;
For he must fly back to his perch and cling…

July 3, 2020 · 1 Comment

Amiri Baraka: Preface to a Twenty Volume Suicide Note

And now, each night I count the stars,
And each night I get the same number.
And when they will not come to be counted,
I count the holes they leave.

April 17, 2020 · Leave a comment

Amiri Baraka: The Liar

What I thought was love
in me, I find a thousand instances
of fear.

February 28, 2020 · 2 Comments

Thomas Sayers Ellis: Godzilla’s Avocado

An artichoke’s heart does not pump ketchup.
It pumps pesto,
oily, olive clots of guacamole.

November 30, 2019 · Leave a comment

Sheila Carter-Jones: Running into a high school classmate years after

I was the only, back then Negro, girl
in a class of four hundred waves splashing,
tossing me about in the crash

October 9, 2019 · 1 Comment

Richard Wright: Haiku

I am nobody:
A red sinking autumn sun
Took my name away.

September 6, 2019 · 1 Comment

Video: Terrance Hayes, “American Sonnets For My Past and Future Assassin”

Terrance Hayes discusses his poetry collection, American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin at Politics and Prose in Washington DC on 7/16/18. Written during the first two hundred days … Continue reading

February 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: How do you raise a black child? A poem by Cortney Lamar Charleston

A poem by Cortney Lamar Charleston — presented as a film directed by Seyi Peter Thomas of Station Film. HOW DO YOU RAISE A BLACK CHILD? From the dead. With pallbearers … Continue reading

February 3, 2019 · Leave a comment

Claude McKay: America

Although she feeds me bread of bitterness, And sinks into my throat her tiger’s tooth, Stealing my breath of life, I will confess I love this cultured hell that tests … Continue reading

December 28, 2018 · 2 Comments

Video: “The Tao of the Black Plastic Comb” by Glenis Redmond

. Directed by Irving Hillman, this short video is an interpretation of Glenis Redmond’s poem “The Tao of the black plastic comb.” To learn more about Glenis Redmond, click here. … Continue reading

September 4, 2018 · 1 Comment

Audio: Gwendolyn Brooks at the Library of Congress

From the Archive of Recorded Poetry at the Library of Congress The twenty-ninth person appointed Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gwendolyn Brooks reads selections … Continue reading

April 4, 2018 · Leave a comment

Sam Hamill: Remembering Gwendolyn Brooks

When I was a boy on a Utah farm, I listened to Chicago blues and dreamed of the city’s big shoulders and wide arms and the roads leading up from … Continue reading

January 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

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