The Oberlin Review

Mudd Library’s Special Collections and Letterpress Thrive Thanks to Vermue

Mudd Library’s Special Collections and Letterpress Thrive Thanks to Vermue

April 3, 2015

Ed Vermue and I failed to acknowledge one another as we impatiently brushed past in the hallway before whirling in a simultaneous double-take, recognition arriving just a second too late. I had caught him miderrand, and rather than pop back into his office (for reasons I discovered later), we settled into a pair of comfortably cushioned chairs in the hallway just outside of the Special Collections on the fourth floor of Mudd library.   Between a row of blue lockers and the wall of windows...

On the Record with Bad Writing Organizers Srijit Ghosh and Paris Gravely

Vida Weisblum, Arts Editor

December 12, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry, On the Record

College seniors Paris Gravely and Srijit Ghosh joined forces to organize a celebratory weekend of poetry titled Bad Writing, in which they brought poets Jaswinder Bolina, Tarfia Faizullah and Richard Siken to campus. The two Creative Writing majors shared their experiences in putting together the student-centric event. So, what was the impetus for hosting the Bad Writing event this weekend? Were you urged by faculty to do this? Srijit Ghosh: [Paris Gravely and I] wanted to bring some poets to campus because we really felt like there wasn’t enough programing coming from the students. Faculty bring poets; Kazim [Ali, Creative Writing department chair] brings a bunch of famous people [to Oberlin], but very in...

Creative Writing Students Mentor Young Poets

Liam McLean, Staff Writer

December 5, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Features, Literature & Poetry

“I was told to write a love poem. I have a try and hope you like it,” seventh-grader Emma Comings read into the microphone on the Cat in the Cream stage, beginning her unassuming but gorgeously lyrical love poem “Sorry, I Tried.” Comings was one of 100 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from Langston Middle School who collaborated with Oberlin students in Creative Writing 450: Teaching Imaginative Writing, where they explored, wrote and published poetry. She was one of the 48 students who shared their poems in the packed Cat in the Cream this past Monday as part of the Langston Middle School Poetry Celebration. “I was so scared that people were going to judge me for my poem, because it wasn’t...

Creative Writing Alumni Visit Oberlin For Flawed Yet Enjoyable Fiction Reading

Aviva Blonder, Staff Writer

November 21, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

According to Edan Lepucki, OC ’02, it was the “apotheosis of achievement” to return to campus and read aloud from her latest novel alongside fellow Oberlin graduate Jacob Bacharach, OC ’03, Thursday, Nov. 13. Her opening remarks reflected the tone of the evening: casual, but not without significance for the returning alumni. The two Creative Writing majors returned as published authors to share what they have accomplished since graduating. Lepucki read a segment from her debut novel, California, which she described as “postapocalyptic domestic drama.” She chose a selection from the middle of the novel, and the reading suffered from the lack of context. The scene opens with the protagonist, Frida, washing ...

Feature Photo: Slam Poetry Duo Performs at Cat

Feature Photo: Slam Poetry Duo Performs at Cat

November 7, 2014

Sister Outsider, the slam poetry stage name of Dominique Christina and Denice Frohman, performed at the Cat in the Cream on Sunday as part of a tour of U.S. colleges. Both performers are recent winners of the Women of the World Poetry Slam competition and have won numerous other titles throughout their prolific careers. Christina and Frohman have found their niche in the overlap between the arts and social activism; the duo regularly speaks at universities and other community centers to raise awareness...

Alt Lit Poets Contrast Deadpan Delivery with Raw Content

Alt Lit Poets Contrast Deadpan Delivery with Raw Content

October 31, 2014

“My desire to meticulously catalog all of my relationships in writing is more important to me than the relationship itself,” said Mira Gonzalez, reading from her essay “Why You Don’t Want to Date Me” at a reading at the Cat in the Cream Tuesday night, delivering frank disclaimers to any hypothetical suitors in the reasonably sized crowd. The Los Angeles-based writer is one of four women headlining the Marry, Fuck, Kill (Cuddle) reading tour sponsored by the independent non-profit press Sh...

Slam Poetry Gains Momentum on Campus

Vida Weisblum, Arts Editor

October 10, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Features, Literature & Poetry

Oberlin’s student-run slam poetry organization, known as OSlam!, is undergoing a critical transformation to manage an overwhelming interest in slam poetry on campus. Last year’s OSlam! participants began auditions Thursday to select finalists for eight additional spots on their performance team, and will continue the process tonight. While the OSlam! club, which meets on Monday evenings to workshop poems and performance, will remain open to all writers, this exclusive performance team will appear at events on campus, collaborate with other student organizations and travel to the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. OSlam! is involved in the slam poetry movement, which first became popular in the 1990s. The...

Next Wave of Editors Revitalizes OCC

Liam McLean, Staff Writer

October 3, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry, Visual Art

The Oberlin Comics Collective, a graphic arts collaborative and small press on campus, is expanding operations through an unconventional device: the risograph. This bulky print duplicator, developed in post-war Japan and marketed as a cheap and efficient alternative to the mainstream photocopier, has found niche appeal among contemporary artists and designers. For them, as for members of the OCC, its inexpensiveness represents control over their creative output and a DIY philosophy central to the collective’s identity. “We self-publish,” said Ben Garbus, OCC member and College sophomore. “That just means producing something from scratch and distribut[ing] it, and that’s what I love about what we do...

Shane McCrae Debuts Vulnerable Poetry Collection

Shane McCrae Debuts Vulnerable Poetry Collection

September 12, 2014

In a charming office of the iconic Yellow House on Tuesday morning, Shane McCrae, Oberlin’s newest assistant professor of Creative Writing, asks if it would be all right if he ate string cheese during his interview. An unconventional breakfast, perhaps, but one expects nothing less from an addition to one of the quirkiest departments on campus. His public introduction was no less engrossing: McCrae read selections from his most recent compilation of beautifully violent poetry, Forgiveness Forgiveness, in Hallo...

Slam Poets Deliver Honest, Moving Performances in Accessible Environment

Slam Poets Deliver Honest, Moving Performances in Accessible Environment

April 25, 2014

As the lights dimmed, the excited chatter of faculty and students filled the tiny Lord Lounge in anticipation of Oberlin’s OSlam! Poetry Showcase on Tuesday, April 22. Three illuminated microphones sat in wait for performers. Abruptly, the chatter burst into explosive applause as the group members appeared on stage and the show began. Part of Oberlin’s slam poetry group’s mission involves creating a space where art can be shared and accessible in a safe environment, a goal which it definitely...

On the Record with Editors-in-Chief on 50th Anniversary of ‘Plum Creek Review’

On the Record with Editors-in-Chief on 50th Anniversary of ‘Plum Creek Review’

April 25, 2014

This semester, the Plum Creek Review — Oberlin’s oldest literary and arts magazine —will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special edition to commemorate its history and longstanding presence on campus. The Review spoke with Editors in-Chief and College seniors Ryann Eastman and Zack Knoll to get the inside scoop on the production of the Plum Creek Review and what to expect in the anticipated 50th anniversary edition. Can you tell me a little bit about the Plum Creek Review? ...

Everett Eschews Convention, Laughs at Lit Theory

Everett Eschews Convention, Laughs at Lit Theory

April 11, 2014

According to Percival Everett, a novel is a little like jazz: “You know it when you see it; you know it when you hear it.” Everett ought to know, as the author of over 20 novels, most recently 2013’s Percival Everett by Virgil Russell. Everett, who is a distinguished professor of English at the University of Southern California, came to campus for a two-day visit. While Everett was often a little hard to follow — intentionally or otherwise — attendees knew when they heard and saw Everet...

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