Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Renowned Poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib Slams at Cat

Renowned Poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib Slams at Cat

November 17, 2017

“I think public affection is one thing that will save us — as long as it’s, you know, consensual with the person who is also down to be publically affectionate with you,” poet, cultural critic, and essayist Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib said Monday. “Please clear that hurdle first.” Willis-Abdurraqib, who has been published by The New York Times, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The Fader, as well as poetry journals such as Muzzle, Vinyl, and PEN American, writes about grief, joy, and heartbrea...

Oberlin Professor Unveils Critically Acclaimed Novel

Oberlin Professor Unveils Critically Acclaimed Novel

October 27, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains mention of drug use, murder, and cancer. Dan Chaon, Delaney Professor of Creative Writing, read from his latest novel, the dark, cunning Ill Will, and fielded questions as part of the Friends of the Oberlin College Libraries’ series on Wednesday night. In Ill Will, Chaon plays with perspective, form, and genre, earning a glowing review from The Washington Post which described it as “the scariest novel of the year.” In person, what came through especial...

Safia Elhillo Delivers Sharp, Candid Poetry Performance

Ananya Gupta, Arts and Culture Editor

September 15, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

“As usual, I was thinking about race; I wrote a poem.” said Sudanese-American performance poet Safia Elhillo as she delivered her sassy wit in a soothing voice last Friday at the Cat in the Cream. Author of the full-length poetry collection The January Children, Elhillo is an acclaimed slam poet who has performed at the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and at TEDxNewYork, and has competed nationally with the New York University collegiate championship slam poetry team and the DC Youth Slam Poetry Team. Having earned accolades including the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize (co-winner) and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Elhillo, though young, is truly...

Oberlin Alum Explores Family, Food, Humanity in Memoir

Oberlin Alum Explores Family, Food, Humanity in Memoir

September 15, 2017

In his new book Heavy: An American Memoir, Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi, Kiese Laymon, OC ’98, discusses his “family’s relationship to food, sexual violence, and weight.” Heavy explores Laymon’s interpretation of the lessons he learned as a child from his mother and grandmother, and the role of language as a powerful protective force for Black folks in white spaces. Last Monday, Oberlin was fortunate enough to host Professor Laymon for a ...

Second-Person Prevails in Pagel’s Occult, Political Poetry

Second-Person Prevails in Pagel’s Occult, Political Poetry

May 5, 2017

There is something haunting about Caryl Pagel’s poetry — and it’s not just the gravestones that frequently appear in her work. Pagel’s writing is heavily steeped in the occult and references to Gothic literature, which she weaves into poetry that is both lyrical and feminist. In addition to having authored two collections of poetry, 2014’s Twice Told and 2012’s Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death, Pagel is also the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press, a poetry editor at j...

Trump Administration Threatens Oberlin Arts Funding

Trump Administration Threatens Oberlin Arts Funding

March 10, 2017

Before President Trump took office in late January, multiple publications reported that his transition team had begun compiling a list of federal programs to eliminate in an effort to trim domestic spending. According to The New York Times, that list is expected to be finalized by the Office of Management and Budget next week as part of the President’s first federal budget proposal. According to ABC News, the forthcoming budget draws heavily on budget outlines produced by the Heritage Foundation,...

AAArt Collective Kicks Off Third Biennial Event Series

Victoria Garber, Arts editor

March 10, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry, Music, Theater & Film

The third Asia America Art Collective will commence this evening with a 7:30 p.m. screening of Kenneth Eng’s My Life in China in the Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies’ Hallock Auditorium, followed by a late night ’Sco performance by Yaeji, v1984 and College senior Rachel Katz, who makes music under the name Xuan Rong. The collective is a biennial event series geared toward highlighting artists who identify as Asian or part of the Asian and Pacific Islander Diaspora. This year’s events will include a mix of workshops, screenings, mixed-media, audiovisual installation and spoken word and musical performances. In addition to calling attention to the work of Asian and Asian-American artistic comm...

Intersectional Comedian D’Lo Brings Variety Show to Oberlin

Intersectional Comedian D’Lo Brings Variety Show to Oberlin

February 24, 2017

A unique blend of stand-up comedy, poetry and storytelling awaits guests at the Cat in the Cream Sunday as actor and comedian D’Lo brings his touring variety show, D’FaQTo Life (pronounced “de facto”) to Oberlin. The show will be his first in Oberlin since 2013, when he performed as part of Colors of Rhythm, and he’s since gone on to perform roles in HBO’s Looking and the Netflix original series Sense8. Co-sponsored by the South Asian Students Association, International Students’ Organi...

Slow Train Hosts Romantic Annual Multilingual Poetry Event

Slow Train Hosts Romantic Annual Multilingual Poetry Event

February 17, 2017

Some say that love is a universal language. This idea was explored Monday evening at Love in Many Tongues, a multilingual poetry reading at Slow Train Cafe. The Oberlin Center for Languages and Cultures organizes Love in Many Tongues each year as a way to promote the dozen languages offered at Oberlin — as well as others not offered — while simultaneously celebrating Valentine’s Day. Oberlin students, faculty and community members read poems and sang songs in a wide array of languages — r...

Open Mic Night Centers Immigrant Narratives

Open Mic Night Centers Immigrant Narratives

February 10, 2017

Since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, immigration has been at the forefront of his administration’s policy agenda. Trump seems to have every intention of fulfilling his campaign promise of building a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico with little regard to economic or logistical practicalities, let alone the humanitarian impact of this endeavor. When Trump signed his executive order banning immigrants and refugees from seven predominantly Muslim, protesters and lawyers rallied at ai...

Seven Poets to Vie for Coveted CUPSI Spots

Seven Poets to Vie for Coveted CUPSI Spots

December 9, 2016

OSLAM will hold its annual Grand Slam in the Cat in the Cream Saturday at 8 p.m., showcasing an art form steeped in resistance and empowerment to conclude what has been an emotionally and politically fraught semester for many. Poetry slams are the competitive art of performed poetry, putting dual focus on both written and performed expression. Seven poets of different experience levels and undeniable skill will read and perform their work in front of a live audience, competing for space on the ...

Thanks to WITS, Poetry Inspires, Empowers at Langston Middle School

Victoria Garber, Arts Editor

December 2, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Literature & Poetry

Anticipatory conversation hummed in the Cat in the Cream Tuesday evening as a full audience awaited the start of the annual poetry reading by Langston Middle School students. The event serves as the culmination of the Writers-in-the-Schools program every fall semester, during which the students of Creative Writing 450: Teaching Imaginative Writing take up short residencies with a Langston class to teach lessons on reading and writing poetry. “We essentially had a book launch for these kids, which is so exciting that that’s a thing that you can do in middle school,” said College senior and Creative Writing major Elizabeth Rubel, who taught a class of seventh graders. “The reading in the Cat in the Cream was rea...

Established 1874.