Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

James Wright: Northern Pike

We prayed for the game warden’s blindness.
We prayed for the road home.
We ate the fish.

November 22, 2019 · Leave a comment

James Wright: A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.

September 13, 2019 · 2 Comments

James Wright: Depressed by a Book of Bad Poetry, I Walk Toward an Unused Pasture and Invite the Insects to Join Me

The old grasshoppers
Are tired, they leap heavily now,
Their thighs are burdened.
I want to hear them, they have clear sounds to make.

August 30, 2019 · 5 Comments

Michael Simms: Dogsbody to the Muse

Sometimes it’s painful to watch a group of poets trying to work a room as if they were politicians. The AWP conference, as the wag put it, is comprised of 15,000 introverts pretending to be extroverts.

August 25, 2019 · 12 Comments

Michael Simms: On the Spectrum with Garrison Keillor

Many of the issues people have had with Keillor’s behavior through the years may have been caused by his autism.

August 11, 2019 · 19 Comments

James Wright: Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.

August 2, 2019 · 1 Comment

James Wright: To a Blossoming Pear Tree

Beautiful natural blossoms,
Pure delicate body,
You stand without trembling.
Little mist of fallen starlight,
Perfect, beyond my reach

April 28, 2019 · 2 Comments

Rick Campbell: Archeology

I have come a thousand miles for this. J&L’s ruins, a gravel plain on the Ohio’s west bank. There’s little left but an archeology of memory—smokestacks, ovens, foundry, smelter, slag. … Continue reading

February 27, 2019 · 1 Comment

James Wright: Hook

I stood on the street corner
In Minneapolis, lashed
This way and that.
Wind rose from some pit,
Hunting me.

January 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

James Wright: Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

In the Shreve High football stadium, I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville, And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood, And the ruptured night … Continue reading

September 30, 2018 · Leave a comment

Audio: “A Blessing” by James Wright

Garrison Keillor reads James Wright’s iconic poem. James Arlington Wright (December 13, 1927 – March 25, 1980) first emerged on the literary scene in 1956 with The Green Wall, a collection … Continue reading

November 14, 2015 · Leave a comment

Michael Simms: What is Poetry For?

A few days ago, an old priest who was a colleague of my wife’s passed away, and Eva came home from work angry at the world. I was worried; Eva … Continue reading

February 1, 2015 · 9 Comments

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