Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 400,000 monthly users. Over 6,000 archived posts.

Stephanie Vander Wel: Loretta Lynn was more than a great songwriter – she was a spokeswoman for white rural working-class women

Lynn’s songs defied societal expectations by connecting her musical representations of working-class and rural women to broader social issues affecting women across the U.S.

October 8, 2022 · Leave a comment

Kari Gunter-Seymour: An Appalachian Woman’s Guide to Beer Drinking

Drink to the twisted torch of freedom, washed down
with fracking waste, red clay dust, the bitter soot
of coal’s see ya later sucka!

September 28, 2022 · 12 Comments

Kari Gunter-Seymour: To No One in Particular

I am never happy to see summer go,
earth stripped of its finest voice.

September 7, 2022 · 9 Comments

Video: West by God

At a water park deep in the Appalachian Mountains, Nelly locks eyes with Dane. On an awkward date, they drive around their West Virginia town, and Dane shares a version of himself others don’t see.

July 10, 2022 · 2 Comments

Pauletta Hansel: The Stepmother’s Lament

Tell me,
what am I
supposed to do
with all this love?

November 29, 2021 · 4 Comments

Kari Gunter-Seymour: That Spot where Raccoon Creek Meets Brush Fork

I wish I could say
I lay your body under the honeysuckle
the day you crossed over, let vine and wisp
hang nectar all around you.

October 18, 2021 · 6 Comments

Pauletta Hansel: The Road

There’s only past throwing
its shadow on the lane that sends you back
toward what is gone. Your eyes will soon adjust.

October 4, 2021 · 2 Comments

Kari Gunter-Seymour: Last Night the Chime Of Tree Frogs

Granny Woman dances
under breeze-shivering branches,
her skirts a waltz of wings,
mouth full of stories.
She has emptied her house of men.

August 16, 2021 · 7 Comments

Video: J.D. Vance| America’s Forgotten Working Class

J.D. Vance grew up in a small, poor city in the Rust Belt of southern Ohio, where he had a front-row seat to many of the social ills plaguing America: a heroin epidemic, failing schools, families torn apart by divorce and sometimes violence.

August 7, 2021 · 5 Comments

Pauletta Hansel: Joy

When we finally sprung my father from the hospital
after days spent staring at the cardio unit’s
cinderblock walls the color of nothing
good, his joy could not be contained.

July 21, 2021 · 4 Comments

Kari Gunter Seymour: Planting By the Signs

I hear my grandmother’s voice, a divination,
Thick rolls the mist, that smokes and falls in dew.

July 5, 2021 · 10 Comments

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

Pamela Haines, George Lakey: Why we must start imagining the world we want to live in


The center of America is not Washington, D.C. The center of America is the neighborhoods where 330 million Americans are raising their kids and trying to put food on the table and trying to love their neighbor. That’s the center of America.

February 9, 2021 · 3 Comments

Adrian Blevins: Appalachians Run Amok

I’m impatient like you to get to the bottom of the problem
of what to call the vacant feeling of our long-ago deportation
from the goats & their creamy milk & the meadows & pastures
they would frolic in each Sunday when my father would
metaphorically herd them…

October 12, 2020 · Leave a comment

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