The Oberlin Review

Creative Writing Seniors Give Dazzling Reading at the Cat

Creative Writing Seniors Give Dazzling Reading at the Cat

May 10, 2019

 Graduating seniors in the Creative Writing Program read their work aloud to an audience of about 70 at the Cat in the Cream on Monday, May 6, their final chance to present their work as undergraduates.  The event was organized by Madi Mettenburg, Creative Writing major representative and graduating senior. Mettenburg credits the large crowd with the fact that she booked the event at the Cat, a popular venue on campus, as well as advertising the event in advance with enticing memes. She said ...

College Juniors Debut “Crystal Bridges,” Zine on LGBTQ Life in Taiwan

College Juniors Debut “Crystal Bridges,” Zine on LGBTQ Life in Taiwan

April 26, 2019

After months of work, College juniors Jenn Lin and Sheng Kao unveiled their new zine, Crystal Bridges, on Monday at a release party held in the Multicultural Resource Center. After being awarded an Oberlin Shansi In-Asia grant this year, the pair traveled to Taipei during Winter Term to document LGBTQ life in Taiwan and interview civilians and activists. Foregoing a traditional print format, Lin and Kao released their zine, a self-published, handmade magazine, on WordPress for free to facilitate access...

Nationally- Acclaimed FIELD Magazine Ends After 50 Years, 100 Issues

Roman Broszkowski, Senior Staff Writer

April 19, 2019

With the release of its spring 2019 issue, FIELD: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, an Oberlin College Press publication, concluded its 50-year run as one of the country’s most prestigious contemporary poetry reviews. The milestone was celebrated with several readings of past and present poems that had been part of the magazine’s long history as a staple of the American poetry scene.  Back in April 2018, FIELD editor and former Oberlin professor David Young announced that he would retire the following year and that as a result, FIELD would be publishing only two more issues. He and his co-editor, Oberlin Professor of English and Creative Writing David Walker, OC ’72 — who is planning on retiring from teaching ...

Poet Alyesha Wise Performs at Cat in the Cream

Poet Alyesha Wise Performs at Cat in the Cream

March 15, 2019

Students jumped to their feet at the end of Alyesha Wise’s performance last Sunday night at the Cat in the Cream. Wise’s work as a poet and teaching artist has taken her from her hometown of Camden, NJ, to Philadelphia, and now to Los Angeles, where she currently resides. She is the cofounder of two slam poetry organizations, the Spoken Literature Art Movement (known as S.L.A.M.) and The Pigeon Presents: The Philadelphia Poetry Slam. She is also the winner of the 2013 Philadelphia Knight Arts...

An Introduction to Oberlin’s Newest Publication, “Two Groves Review”

An Introduction to Oberlin’s Newest Publication, “Two Groves Review”

February 22, 2019

The Two Groves Review is a new student publication dedicated to poetry, literary criticism, and “writing about writing.” We seek to bring an attentive, intentional, and clear editorial process to the publication of student work at Oberlin. An online-only magazine, we offer enhancements to the pieces we publish, including annotations and audiovisual accompaniments. The first issue of Two Groves was released on Thursday, Feb. 14 on www.twogroves.com. The inaugural issue featured essays analyzing and...

The Mystery of Things: Artistic Processes at Oberlin

The Mystery of Things: Artistic Processes at Oberlin

February 22, 2019

Many Oberlin students declare two majors that cross disciplines; it’s not uncommon to find people with surprisingly disparate double majors such as Theater and Computer Science or Viola performance and Biology. But what about the students with majors in two different creative fields? How do these students connect their majors through the work they create?  These questions struck me when I realized that my own majors, Dance and Creative Writing, weren’t as independent as I thought. The deeper I ...

College Mentors Work with Elementary, Middle School Students

College Mentors Work with Elementary, Middle School Students

December 7, 2018

Rarely have I smiled so hard as I did at the Cat in the Cream this past week at not one but two fantastic performances by students from local Oberlin schools.  Kids from Prospect Elementary School and Langston Middle School wowed packed houses on Monday and Wednesday — Monday night’s offering was a poetry reading by the middle school students, and Wednesday’s was a dance performance by students from both schools as a culmination of the afterschool program Girls and Boys in Motion. Both of ...

A Little Bit is Better Than None: Teaching Self-Care in Ella Causer’s ExCo, “How to Be David Sedaris Himself”

A Little Bit is Better Than None: Teaching Self-Care in Ella Causer’s ExCo, “How to Be David Sedaris Himself”

September 21, 2018

A love of barn owls shared with a well-known humorist led College sophomore Ella Causer to develop and teach the ExCo “How to Be David Sedaris Himself.” “He’s one of the authors that can make me laugh out loud,” said Causer. She became exposed to Sedaris’ work relatively recently and has developed a strong appreciation for it. Causer once sent Sedaris fan mail, and he responded by complimenting the collage she’d sent along with her letter, as well as providing her with a list of...

Emily Barton and Thomas Israel Hopkins, Oberlin’s Newest Creative Writing Faculty

Emily Barton and Thomas Israel Hopkins, Oberlin’s Newest Creative Writing Faculty

September 21, 2018

Professors Emily Barton and Tom Hopkins are the two newest faculty members of Oberlin’s Creative Writing department. Barton is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing — one of the two recently hired tenure-track faculty, the other of whom is Chanda Feldman, who was hired as a visiting assistant professor last year. Hopkins is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing. The professors are married with two children. Both Barton and Hopkins graduated from Harvard College. Ba...

Students Bare Innermost Thoughts During Diary Reading Open Mic Night

Students Bare Innermost Thoughts During Diary Reading Open Mic Night

September 21, 2018

Brave students recited their diary entries aloud to the audience of the Cat in the Cream at the Diary Reading Open Mic last Friday night. The excerpts could be from any time period in their life. Some entries were funny, others emotional; still others were deeply poetic or revealing. Each one was a window into how exactly self-reflection works when we don’t particularly believe anyone will see. Jordan Bettencourt  College junior This is an excerpt of a diary entry from my junior year of h...

Oslam Open Mic Highlights Talent of New Poets

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

September 14, 2018

Each time a poet took to the stage and announced their name and pronouns followed by “I’m a first-year,” the audience erupted into a chorus of snapping and cheering. This was “Back 2 School Open Mic,” hosted by OSlam, Oberlin’s poetry collective. The event, which occurred last Friday at the Cat in the Cream, was the first opportunity this academic year for Oberlin students to hop on stage alongside OSlam’s three current members and share some of their work. “I’ve worked a lot of open mics because I work at the Cat in the Cream, and it can be really hard,” College junior Amy Sahud said. “The energy can definitely dip, [but] I feel like we sustained it. I thought [the audience] was really supportive,...

“Citizen Illegal” Rejects Generalizations of Immigrant Experience

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 7, 2018

  The current immigration system in the United States is a hopelessly broken contradiction. We demonize immigrants and yet rely on and exploit their labor to sustain our economy. Our highest court upholds policy that uses the arbitrary justification of borders to dictate who is banned from entering our country. It is within this context that Citizen Illegal — a stunning debut by poet José Olivarez — exists. As its title suggests, the collection of poems focuses significantly on immigration, borders, home, and movement, particularly in a Mexican and Mexican-American context. Olivarez’ work is so powerful, however, because of its personal anecdotes and its commentary on how our national contradictions complica...

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