Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

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

Mason Adams: Appalachia’s Deep History of Resistance

Protest runs through the region’s veins like coal seams through the mountains.

September 5, 2020 · Leave a comment

Jason Baldinger: Résumé

apparently just to live
just to experience life
is not an acceptable trade

January 28, 2020 · 2 Comments

Erica Etelson: How Liberals Left the White Working Class Behind

While people of color and middle-class White women are slowly gaining representation, poor Whites’ stars are not rising.

December 19, 2019 · 2 Comments

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 · 1 Comment

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