Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Michael Simms: Oh Darlin’

The intimacy
Of strangers is luminous, the way
We wish well for the man who lost
His car keys, the woman coming in
Out of the rain, the girl who missed
Her bus, the boy who stutters.

August 8, 2020 · 14 Comments

Florina Rodov: Barbara Ehrenreich’s Powerful Lessons for a Stronger Post-Coronavirus America

The political activist and author imagines a country where all people, not just the wealthy, can live with dignity.

April 16, 2020 · Leave a comment

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

Jason Baldinger: The Hymn at the End

this fucking game is rigged
give your soul, you will be asked for more
eat shit, you will be asked to eat more
repeat until you’re too old to care, then please die

December 19, 2019 · 1 Comment

Jason Baldinger: A Seventy-Four Dollar Shotgun

two men in camouflage
drunk loud talk, stare at shotguns

December 10, 2019 · 2 Comments

Kristofer Collins: A Poem for Michael Wurster

The only connection I felt to the mills
was to the children of a generation of flayed men
on unemployment, the storefronts boarded…

November 7, 2019 · Leave a comment

Lauren Worth: How Local Communities Can Tackle the ‘Death Gap’

Working-class Americans die younger. Here’s what your town can do about it.

October 15, 2019 · 1 Comment

Jason Baldinger: David Ogden Stiers

I can’t come off the night shift schedule
so I get 4 hours sleep a night for a week
drool all day, try not to pass out standing up
god forbid I catch a nap, sleep with a bag of diapers under my head

October 15, 2019 · 1 Comment

Jason Baldinger: Employee of the Month

What a beautiful dream after thirteen straight days of work!
Employee of the Month!
Efficient, clear headed task manager!
This is how it feels to be brilliant!
This is how it feels to be perfect!

August 27, 2019 · Leave a comment

J. Edwin Benton: What happens to rural and small-town Trump voters after Trump is gone?

Residents of rural and small-town communities believe they are not getting their fair share of government attention and vital resources compared to urban dwellers.

April 12, 2019 · 1 Comment

Robert Walicki: If a Tree Falls

A tree falls does anyone care if it makes it into this poem? A poem bone deep and raw, broken into bark and hanging on to the edge of a … Continue reading

February 21, 2019 · 1 Comment

Robert Gibb: Worker, Steel Mill

Photograph by W. Eugene Smith, c. 1955 . Bug-eyed in those glare-filled goggles, He’s gauntleted and cassocked, garbed To be garbed in fire, which forms a lake On the floor … Continue reading

January 24, 2019 · Leave a comment

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