Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Richard Levine: Disturbing the Peace

“Do you want to know what war is about?”
Jake asked the talkative one. 
“Don’t say it, Jake,” I said. 

May 31, 2021 · 5 Comments

Michael Simms: American Ash (text and video)

Old warriors rarely
say anything about
people they killed or
horrors they saw

April 24, 2021 · 10 Comments

Barrett Swanson: The Soldier and the Soil

Their prose often stood head and shoulders above the standard freshman drivel, exhibiting a certain rigor of thought and depth of feeling that perhaps comes from having witnessed whole anthologies of trauma—entire villages razed by fire, wide-eyed children draped in gore, wives screaming beside mutilated husbands.

May 31, 2020 · Leave a comment

Michelle Tarbox, M.D: I do not want to be a hero

I have fought for my patients,
but my patience wears thin.

May 1, 2020 · 4 Comments

Goran Simić: A Scene After the War

I’d never been aware how beautiful my house is
until I saw it burning

January 7, 2020 · 2 Comments

John Samuel Tieman: Alert

a night in a bunker when we were
kids in fatigues getting high
listening to Hendrix and the cassette stops

September 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Video: Medieval Martha Stewart

. A documentary by Taylor Hawkins. Damaged by childhood abuse, PTSD, and chronic loneliness, Iraq war veteran Josh Brock has turned his anger and sorrow into a personal ethos of … Continue reading

October 18, 2018 · Leave a comment

Michaela Haas: 7 Strategies to Turn Trauma Into Strength

Survivors discover surprising benefits in the process of healing from a traumatic event. When Army surgeon Rhonda Cornum regained consciousness after her helicopter crashed, she looked up to see five … Continue reading

September 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

Marc Jampole: The long-term effects of separating children from their parents

The real tragedy of separating children from their parents will come years from now when the kids suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. These past few days, I’ve been feeling a … Continue reading

August 8, 2018 · 1 Comment

Doug Anderson: Binge

War comes to visit me once a day. I can’t get rid of him. He’s grown old and hates himself. I stopped a quarter century ago, but he still drinks … Continue reading

May 24, 2018 · 2 Comments

Video: We Became Fragments

. “Missiles fell from the sky like rain.” The Syrian civil war destroyed this teenager’s family — now he’s in Winnipeg, Canada, starting over. Created by Luisa Conlon for The New … Continue reading

January 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

Peter Van Buren: How to Sustain Perpetual War? Easy — Hide the Bodies

Sustaining America’s state of post-9/11 perpetual war requires skillful manipulation of the public at home. The key tool used for this purpose is the bloodless narrative, a combination of policy, … Continue reading

July 18, 2017 · Leave a comment

John Samuel Tieman: How To Tell A War Story

I remember the day Senior Drill Sergeant Rose lined us up in squads of eight. It was the first week of Basic Training. “Every single one of you is going … Continue reading

March 10, 2017 · 7 Comments

Video: Post-War Machismo — Be a Man

. At 15, Dragan Kisin was beating up kids, drinking, and getting in all sorts of trouble. His father had left home to avoid gambling debts, and his mother was … Continue reading

August 26, 2016 · Leave a comment

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