Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Susan Cheever:  The Real Bill W.

Almost 50 years after his death, the AA founder’s complicated life is more instructive than ever in an increasingly tumultuous world. Bill Wilson was no saint. He smoked like a … Continue reading

August 26, 2017 · Leave a comment

Molly Fisk: Dark Rum & Tonic

Sometimes what you need is a road house, blast of laughter and warm air pouring out the door, where the waitresses know your name but the customers don’t, shrill on … Continue reading

July 10, 2017 · 3 Comments

Ellen McGrath Smith: Wounded Antelope of the Herd

Some Thoughts on Brock Turner, Drinking, and Rape I was 18, waking up on the dorm hallway floor. Mary Beth, the upperclassman who woke me to get dressed for work, … Continue reading

June 11, 2016 · 1 Comment

Video: Ironweed (Complete feature-length film)

Ironweed. Directed by Hector Babanco. Starring Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker, Michael O’Keefe, Diane Venora, Tom Waits, Fred Gynne. Written by Tom Bender and William Kennedy. Released in 1987. Running time: 2:23:03. … Continue reading

November 28, 2015 · 1 Comment

Doug Anderson: Eulogy

When I was nineteen and the drummer in the show band that backed you, you took me to your bed. I had been speechless in your presence: your honey whiskey … Continue reading

September 15, 2015 · Leave a comment

Doug Anderson: Tucson, 1970

I remember standing in a long line being processed into jail. Guy behind me is furious: they’ve handcuffed him to a transvestite who is smiling at his discomfort. They put … Continue reading

August 18, 2015 · 1 Comment

Audio: Raymond Carver reads “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”

Here’s an audio recording of Raymond Carver reading his most famous story, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” Taped in a Palo Alto hotel room in 1983 … Continue reading

February 27, 2015 · 1 Comment

Doug Anderson: A Spiritual Practice

The word “spiritual” is problematic and yet we use it as a place holder for those things as yet untouched by metaphysics, and I dare say untouchable, or those things … Continue reading

December 29, 2014 · 3 Comments

Ace Boggess: Like All Petitioners He Must Wait

“…Like All Petitioners He Must Wait (How Many Cups of Coffee in an Hour?)” —William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch   Waiting for a screwdriver, I sit at the counter sipping … Continue reading

December 7, 2014 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: The Bartertown Ball

When I got into Washington my friend Eddie met me at the train station and took me directly to Neal’s. Neal had drafted Eddie to be the master of ceremonies, … Continue reading

September 11, 2014 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: Why Drunken Poets Need to Procreate

If it were somehow obligatory that I sum up my existence with a single sentence—or perhaps with just a phrase and a simple image—I’d be at a loss. I would, … Continue reading

August 19, 2014 · 1 Comment

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