Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Ace Boggess: Thirty Blessings for Poets

3) May the poem on which you’ve just given up be accepted by the journal you’ve forgotten.
4) May someone quote your work in a movie that has nothing to do with poetry.

November 2, 2019 · 1 Comment

Michael Simms: Hands

Every man who works with his hands
Has seen that look. Maybe we showed up
To patch the roof, service the furnace,
Or unclog the sewer…

September 22, 2019 · 9 Comments

Elizabeth Romero: Being Poor

It can be waiting
And telling your children to wait
Wait their whole childhoods away.
It’s knowing they blame you.

September 4, 2019 · 1 Comment

James Zogby: Addressing Those Who Have Been Fooled All of the Time

What is needed is a message that speaks to voters across the spectrum, telling them that they are being heard and their needs will be addressed by proposals for economic and social progress that will include and benefit everyone.

September 4, 2019 · 2 Comments

Video: Nora Brown plays two old-time banjo tunes

In a mesmerizing set, musician Nora Brown breathes new life into two old-time banjo tunes: “East Virginia” and “John Brown’s Dream.” An evocative performance paired with a quick history of the banjo’s evolution.

June 22, 2019 · Leave a comment

Sherry Hamby: Resisting technology, Appalachian style

When people hear “Appalachia,” stereotypes and even slurs often immediately jump to mind, words like “backwards,” “ignorant,” “hillbilly” or “yokel.” But Appalachian attitudes about technology’s role in daily life are … Continue reading

April 6, 2018 · 3 Comments

John Samuel Tieman: A Billboard Not Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A few years ago, my wife and I were driving in Franklin County, Missouri. I saw something off the road, and excitedly said to her, “Honey, look — look at … Continue reading

January 29, 2018 · 1 Comment

Tom Engelhardt: An Empire of Graveyards

At the Circus with Donald Trump. Recently, a memory of my son as a small boy came back to me. He was, in those days, terrified of clowns. Something about … Continue reading

January 27, 2018 · 1 Comment

Jon Tribble: Missionary Barrel

for my father   Like a loose plank on a flatbed Ford skittering and shimmying the bolt free, your life has shaken out the cotton fields in Limestone County, the … Continue reading

December 2, 2017 · Leave a comment

Jon Tribble: 38,000,000 Reasons

I had left the Colonel and his kitchen behind for good and was detoxing as a movie theater usher in the last of my senior year of high school, but … Continue reading

August 16, 2017 · Leave a comment

Patricia Youngblood: Two West Virginia Poems

five hundred mountains   over 500 mountains in Appalachia have been leveled by mountaintop removal mining, more than 1,000 miles of streams poisoned and buried in mine waste . the … Continue reading

August 8, 2017 · 2 Comments

Joshua Wilkey: Blessed are the White Trash

I grew up poor. Often, when one reads memoirs or oral histories from folks who grew up where I did — that is, in Appalachia, or in the South, or somewhere … Continue reading

July 9, 2017 · 3 Comments

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