The Oberlin Review

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...

Arabic Event Finds Hope Despite National Division

James Fleming

November 18, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Features, Literature & Poetry, Music

Oberlin’s Arabic program, which in recent years has made strides toward expansion following a troubled infancy, hosted its third annual Arabic Language Day Tuesday evening. This event is one of several additions Arabic professor Mahmoud Meslat has pushed for since taking over the program in 2014. Other additions include creating opportunities for students to speak Arabic outside of class and, most recently, the hiring of Professor Basem Al-Raba’a. For Meslat, who described the Arabic language as a “soul to soul” experience connecting people of numerous cultures from all across the Middle East and North Africa with a common tongue, events like the Language Day and the Poetry Night on Thursday exist to celebrate ...

Bechdel Returns to Oberlin to Talk “Fun Home”

Bechdel Returns to Oberlin to Talk “Fun Home”

October 7, 2016

Editor's note: This article contains mentions of suicide as well as spoilers for the graphic novel and musical Fun Home. Of all the brilliant lines from Fun Home, the stage musical based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, OC ’81, one in particular might resonate with Oberlin students. “It’s not the world, anyways,” proclaims a character modeled after a college-aged Bechdel. “It’s Oberlin College.” Bechdel, one of Oberlin’s most famous alumni, is lauded as a cartoonist,...

On the Record with Suzanne Overstreet

On the Record with Suzanne Overstreet

September 30, 2016

Community member and long-time Creative Writing Program Coordinator Suzanne Overstreet released her debut novel, Wait for Me, through eLectio Publishing in August. Overstreet spent over four years on the project, a historical fiction piece about her parents and their circumstances before and during World War II. Formerly a special interest writer for The Morning Journal, Overstreet has spent 28 years in various College administrative positions, including in the Office of the Chaplain (now Religi...

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