Melanie Almeder Wins the 2024 Zócalo Poetry Prize

‘Coyote Hour’ Tracks a Summer in Southern Maine

Melanie Almeder is the winner of the 2024 Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize for “Coyote Hour.” The poem tracks the rhythms of summer in a part of coastal New England where you can smell Deet and rotting seaweed, hear piping plovers call and speed boats growl, and spot a seal and even a former president. “With rich musicality and stark imagery, this beautiful poem explores place, class, nature, flora, and fauna,” wrote one of our Poetry Prize judges. “Each line sings with surprise and delight.”

Since 2012, we have awarded the …

When Americans Feared an Invasion From Their Northern Border | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Americans Feared an Invasion From Their Northern Border

In the Late 19th Century, the French Canadians Who Came to Work in Cotton Mills Were Treated as ‘Pawns in a Catholic Plot’

In 1893, Clare de Graffenried, special agent of the United States Department of Labor, published an article in The Forum describing an invasion of America’s northeastern border. For 30 …

Here Are Two Voting Reforms That Could Counter America’s Hyperpolarization

When Used Together, ‘Ranked Choice’ and ‘Top Two’ Elections Would Strengthen Major Parties and Favor Moderate Politicians

Political polarization has spread across the globe. The ensuing ideological purity might make each warring faction appear stronger, but in reality, hyperpolarization weakens parties by making them less appealing to …

Why Californians Should Believe in Snow Days

They’re Fun. They Fuel Our Nostalgia. They Remind Us of Our Obligation to One Another.

I’m sitting here in Maine having a snow day. I can only see about 30 feet in front of my cabin; everything beyond is obscured by white frosty particles, which …

Enlightenment, the Hard Way

The Mind-Clearing Power of Communal Body Contortion

Upon entering an ashtanga yoga studio, this is what you won’t encounter: a welcoming, light-filled space with Krishna Das on the sound system and an exuberant, smiling young teacher sporting …