Charles Jensen Wins Zócalo’s Seventh Annual Poetry Prize

In ‘Tucson’, the Clouds Have Hands, a Snake Writes Cursive, and the Tree Has Arms

Zócalo Public Square’s daily ideas journalism and free public events aim to connect people and ideas, exploring our shared human condition and the world we’ve made. In that spirit, we publish a new poem each Friday. And for the last seven years, we’ve awarded a prize to the poem that best evokes a connection to place.

This year, 441 poets submitted a record total of 1,145 poems, transporting us to physical locations near and fear, as well as to imagined worlds and mental states found on no atlas.

Ultimately, Zócalo poetry editor …

Tater Tot Hotdish, Minnesota Soul Food

My Home State’s Favorite No-Fuss Meal Is a Tribute to Its No-Nonsense Spirit

I am a Minnesota writer. I realized this only after my first book was published in 2009. One reader called it “a crash course in being Minnesotan.” Reviewers noted that …

Paying Homage to a Great American Poet

While Henry David Thoreau Preached Simplicity, Lorine Niedecker Simply Lived It

On a sunny Saturday in August, I stood at a one-room cabin near the outskirts of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, thinking about the great American poet Lorine Niedecker. She lived …

Announcing Zócalo’s Third Annual Poetry Prize Winner

Congratulations to Amy Glynn, Author of ‘Shoreline,’ This Year’s Best Poem on Place

Zócalo’s daily humanities journalism aims to shed light on critical issues and trends that explain our shared human condition. Zócalo strives to do the same thing with the new poems …

Is Placelessness the Cost of American Freedom?

If We Want to Nurture a Sense of Place in This Country, It Might Help to Know Why We Lost It To Begin With

Forty-four years ago—well before the advent of the contemporary mobile phone, Wi-Fi, and social media technology—fabled futurist Alvin Toffler predicted a “historic decline in the significance of place to human …

Yes, ‘Breaking Bad’ Got Albuquerque Right

My Hometown Is a Circus of Vice. I Love It Anyway.

When I tell people that I’m from Albuquerque, they usually tell me that’s where Breaking Bad is filmed.

Yes, I reply. Yes, it is.

Breaking Bad has given me a way to …