The Oberlin Review

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...

“Tales By Moonlight” Showcases African Literature and Folktales

Rosie Black, Production Manager

April 11, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

“You have an event in your life that wakes you up, and not just you but all the people around you,” College sophomore Sophie Umazi Mvurya said, explaining why she’d chosen to read a passage from Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Purple Hibiscus. The setting was “Tales by Moonlight,” a low-key and eclectic reading sponsored by the African Students’ Association as part of Africa Week; Mvurya was one of many students who took to the Cat in the Cream stage Tuesday night to share their diverse selections. Selections were drawn from both modern literary sources and traditional folktales, and although the evening got off to a rocky start, it eventually found a sweet spot in the combination of the...

Annual Friendship Day an Artful, Varied Meditation on Companionship

Clara Shannon

April 11, 2014

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry, Music

Despite the chaos that always ensues after spring break, Oberlin students and faculty alike came together to celebrate and honor the meaning of friendship at the Cat in the Cream on Tuesday afternoon. Friendship Day showcased student performers of many forms and genres, including spoken word, jazz, folk, didgeridoo, speech and poetry, all of which focused on the topic of friendship. Along with the entertainment, attendees were encouraged to eat free food, doodle with a friend, make friendship bracelets and relax in the warm, positive environment. Friendship Day was originally created in the spring of 2010 and has remained an Oberlin tradition since then. The two-anda-half hour event was organized by Oberlin’s Friendship...

On the Record: Prof. Tim Scholl, director of annual Translation Symposium

On the Record: Prof. Tim Scholl, director of annual Translation Symposium

April 4, 2014

On Tuesday the Comparative Literature department will host its annual Translation Symposium. The Review sat down with Tim Scholl, professor of Russian and Comparative Literature and this year’s director of the event, to talk about its history, impact on students and what to look forward to next week. Tell me a little bit about the Translation Symposium and its background It is an opportunity for students to create and perform their own translations. Students will read the original, then t...

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