Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Kaveh Bassiri: Afterword

In the Quran, God taught Adam the names of all things. Even the angels didn’t know the names. Do we carry the weight of these words with us? Do they hold us responsible?

July 14, 2021 · 1 Comment

Patricia Jabbeh Wesley: When I Shut the Door

The news arrived by e-mail — a scribble of a long, single sentence, broken up, like little chunks of wood, the way a year is broken up into months and weeks, days, hours.

June 15, 2021 · 2 Comments

Kaveh Bassiri: Writing Persian

During the hostage crisis, when I was Albanian,
my history teacher conceded, “You’ve to be born into English
to be its rightful citizen.” I wanted to be an American poet,
but was a Persian settler.

May 20, 2021 · 6 Comments

Richard Levine: Day Labor

This is New York, drinking coffee in plain
blue paper cups at dawn. In every tongue,
the dream begins with showing up.

April 6, 2021 · 2 Comments

Bunkong Tuon: Fishing for Trey Platoo

Cambodians and Vietnamese, once enemies,
fish side by side on the same American pier.

March 25, 2021 · 1 Comment

Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor: Gezundheit

The way this strange, non-English wish
commuted in a grandmother’s Yiddish
mouth, zay gezunt

November 11, 2020 · 3 Comments

Paola Corso: American Future

Snapshot of my father as a young man
standing at the top of hillside steps

April 20, 2020 · 2 Comments

Lornet Turnbull: What Happens When a Person Is Deported?

A new guide provides resources to help those being returned to their countries of origin.

February 21, 2020 · Leave a comment

Three stories: People fight the system and win

A farmer prevails against Monsanto in court. Refugees find ingenious ways to scale Trump’s wall. And 100 cities around the world provide free public transportation everyday for everyone.

February 19, 2020 · Leave a comment

Regina Schwartz: Immigration | “Loving Justice”

When we fail to respond humanely to refugees, we not only deny their vulnerability, we also deny our own.

November 14, 2019 · Leave a comment

Julia Paley: The End of Asylum?

Trump’s asylum ban and kangaroo tent courts threaten to destroy a pillar of international humanitarian law. What can we do?

September 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

Mario Garcia: More Central American migrants take shelter in churches, recalling 1980s sanctuary movement

To avoid arrest, thousands of Central Americans have taken shelter in churches, which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement considers sensitive locations where officers should be hesitant to make arrests.

August 2, 2019 · Leave a comment

Harry Blain: American Concentration Camps

When human beings are framed as a national security threat, barbed wire is the next logical step. But unlike during the Japanese internment, today there’s high-level political resistance.

July 22, 2019 · Leave a comment

Ginger Thompson: A Border Patrol Agent Reveals What It’s Really Like to Guard Migrant Children

With the agency under fire for holding children in deplorable conditions and over racist and misogynistic Facebook posts, one agent speaks about what it’s like to do his job. “Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal.”

July 18, 2019 · Leave a comment

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