The Oberlin Review

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...

Lorain’s FireFish Spectacle Signals Restoration

Lorain’s FireFish Spectacle Signals Restoration

September 23, 2016

A giant fish paraded through the center of town, floated down the river and set on fire barely scratches the surface of the display at the second annual FireFish festival, which took place last Saturday. The city of Lorain’s downtown and boardwalk areas were transformed into thoroughfares of public art, with almost every storefront, alley and doorway becoming a display or performance space. The festival lasted from early afternoon until well after dark, ending despite the rain with the much-anti...

UGH Magazine: Battle Cry for Millennial Feminists

Rachel Mead

September 2, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

Like many of today’s best ideas, UGH Magazine began with a Google Doc. If you use the internet regularly and your friends are feminist millennials, you might know about RookieMag, Tavi Genison’s online teen magazine. If you’re part of the twenty-something crowd, you might be reading articles from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s site, Lenny Letter, aimed at women in the working world. However, if you don’t attend Oberlin or don’t know Justine Goode, OC ’16, and Hazel Crampton-Hays, OC ’16, you may not be familiar with UGH, a feminist publication of their creation. One of the struggles of UGH has been figuring out how to find a target audience while remaining inclusive. “Our mission statement is still...

Fang First Femme of Color to Win Howell Poetry Prize

Fang First Femme of Color to Win Howell Poetry Prize

May 6, 2016

College senior Dana Fang won this year’s annual Emma Howell Memorial Poetry Contest, awarded by Oberlin’s Creative Writing department. Fang is both the first femme of color and the first Asian-American poet to win the prize, which honors Creative Writing and Comparative Literature major Emma Howell, an Oberlin student who died during her sophomore year in 2001. Howell’s father, poet Christopher Howell, judges the submissions along with Creative Writing professors, and the winner is awarded...

Álvarez Writes on War Trauma, Healing

Matías Berretta, Staff Writer

April 22, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

On April 17, a lazy Sunday afternoon, the light of Ohio’s long-missed sun flooded through the French windows of Harvey House. The siesta spell broke as Language Teaching Assistant in Hispanic Studies Gabriela Garcia Greco picked up a microphone to greet the audience and introduce award-winning Venezuelan poet and professor María Auxiliadora Álvarez. Álvarez’s reading marked the start of a series of events by Idea(r), a project that seeks to promote Spanish-language creative writing on campus. Álvarez framed her poetry as intimate and frugal, inviting the listeners to share the experience of the poem with her. Reading from her latest book, Piedra en: U, as well as from her sizeable anthology, Las Nadas y Las ...

‘Dear Committee Members’ Pokes Fun at Academic Hierarchy

‘Dear Committee Members’ Pokes Fun at Academic Hierarchy

April 15, 2016

Professor of Creative Writing Dan Chaon introduced fiction writer Julie Schumacher, OC ’81, with great pride Wednesday. Chaon informed the audience that Schumacher’s first published story, “Reunion,” was written to fulfill an undergraduate creative writing assignment at Oberlin before it was reprinted in The Best American Short Stories of 1983. When Schumacher approached the podium, she reminisced about her time at Oberlin, noting how much more beautiful it was than she remembered. Suppress...

Student Translators Face Ethical, Lexical Challenges

Julia Peterson, Production Editor

April 1, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

The Annual Student Translation Symposium, a celebration of language, culture and the art of communicating, allows students to present their original translations and give short talks on their personal translation processes. It has taken place at Oberlin every year for more than a decade. This year, the Translation Symposium will be hosted Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Craig Lecture Hall. University of Michigan Professor Benjamin Paloff will deliver the keynote lecture, “The Universal Translator,” on Thursday, April 7, at the same time and place. “It’s a gathering for translators of all kinds, people interested in foreign languages,” said double-degree senior Aaron Wolff, who will be presenting two poems translated...

Nautical Poetry Tells Tale of Hurricane Sandy

Matías Berretta, Staff Writer

April 1, 2016

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

Chair of the Creative Writing Program Kazim Ali began a poetry reading by Margaret Ross and Robin Beth Schaer on March 10 by asking those in attendance if they recognized the metrical pattern of the radiator’s rhythmic banging — a trochaic beat. This was a fitting observation, as both Ross and Schaer’s work draws on the rhythm of their experiences. Shane McCrae, assistant professor of Creative Writing, giddily introduced Margaret Ross. McCrae confessed that when he met Ross at a workshop with Jorie Graham at Harvard University, he experienced the kind of jealousy a poet feels when they meet a 19-year-old who’s better than they were at the same age. McCrae lauded Ross as a genius, insisting that hers was the ...

Multimedia Poet Taps into Subconscious Realms

Multimedia Poet Taps into Subconscious Realms

March 11, 2016

Poetry has long existed as a multimedia art form. Homeric poems, for example, used to be performed with musical accompaniment. The relationship between poetry and other art forms was evident last Thursday in Dye Lecture Hall when New York-based performance poet Adeena Karasick wowed the students present with nothing but her voice, a projector and a glitchy microphone. Kazim Ali, chair of the Creative Writing department, introduced Karasick as a multi-genre artist working at the intersection of performance...

Visiting Professor Celebrates Bird Hill Release

Visiting Professor Celebrates Bird Hill Release

March 11, 2016

The Creative Writing and Africana Studies departments hosted Visiting Creative Writing Professor Naomi Jackson on Feb. 25. She read excerpts from her newly published book The Star Side of Bird Hill. The book, a coming-of-age novel that moves from Brooklyn to Barbados, was characterized by Jackson as “a meditation on the ways in which family can be really good and really terrible, sometimes in the same moment.” The book touches on, among other things, assimilation into a multiplicity of Black...

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