The Oberlin Review

College Juniors Debut “Crystal Bridges,” Zine on LGBTQ Life in Taiwan

College Juniors Debut “Crystal Bridges,” Zine on LGBTQ Life in Taiwan

April 26, 2019

After months of work, College juniors Jenn Lin and Sheng Kao unveiled their new zine, Crystal Bridges, on Monday at a release party held in the Multicultural Resource Center. After being awarded an Oberlin Shansi In-Asia grant this year, the pair traveled to Taipei during Winter Term to document LGBTQ life in Taiwan and interview civilians and activists. Foregoing a traditional print format, Lin and Kao released their zine, a self-published, handmade magazine, on WordPress for free to facilitate access...

Interaction Outside Classroom Not Always Abusive

Louise Edwards

February 16, 2018

To the Editors: On Feb. 9, 2018, The Oberlin Review published Emily Clarke’s Letter to the Editors (“Matambo’s Mentorship Lacked Boundaries”), which describes interactions that Clarke had with former professor of Creative Writing Bernard Farai Matambo. Matambo recently resigned from Oberlin College due to sexual misconduct allegations. From Clarke’s perspective, the interactions described in the letter made their student-teacher relationship “insidious.” I understand that all of Matambo’s students had different experiences with him; however, to me, the actions described in the third paragraph of Clarke’s letter do not seem like boundaries crossed, with the exception of showing up to Clarke’s house at 1...

Feature Photo: Terra Incognita

Feature Photo: Terra Incognita

May 6, 2016

College senior Benjamin Miyamoto dances in Oberlin Dance Company’s Terra Incognita in Hall Auditorium Saturday. Choreographed by Assistant Professor of Dance Alysia Ramos, the multimedia show illustrates how it feels to delve into the unknown and find the unexpected. Conservatory musicians accompanied the dancers, improvising to coordinate their sound with onstage movement. Inspired by Miles Davis, Omar Sosa, Joni Mitchell and Christian Scott, the spontaneity in the music fit with the show’s...

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...

Feature Photo: A Mighty Good Time

Feature Photo: A Mighty Good Time

March 11, 2016

The High and Mighty Brass Band blasts a jazzy tune at a packed Cat in the Cream. Though the audience was sitting at the beginning of the nine-piece band’s set on Friday, nearly every attendee was standing and dancing by the end of the fun-filled performance. The HMBB boasts a sound that combines classical big band jazz with hip-hop and R&B. The band covered a number of popular, recognizable tracks in its performance, displaying the influence of contemporary musical genres on its style...

Smith’s Poetry a Bible Verse, Queer Anthem

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

March 11, 2016

Slam Poet Danez Smith, hailing from St. Paul, MN, opened their performance at the Cat in the Cream Saturday with “Genesissy,” a piece that was part Bible verse, part hymn and part queer anthem. They balanced humorous lines like, “And on the tenth day, God wore a blood-red sequin body suit, dropped it low, named it Sunset,” with serious sentiments like “Jesus wept at the mirror, mourning the day his sons would shame his sons for walking a daughter’s stride.” Like a church service, Smith transitioned from reading their own recreation of the Bible to singing a mournful prayer: “I am on the battlefield for my Lord, for my Lord.” The dynamic textures of Smith’s work make it clear why Smith is a widely...

Plath Resurrected in ‘Feels Like Hell’

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

March 4, 2016

College senior Anna Gelman first got the idea to write the play I Do it So it Feels Like Hell when she studied Sylvia Plath in the class Six Poets: 1945– Present, taught by her advisor and Associate Professor of English DeSales Harrison. She took the class during her sophomore year, and now the play, which tells the story of Plath’s life in just over an hour, will finally be performed in Little Theatre Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Gelman did not devise the performance alone, however. About a year ago, she asked two of her close friends if they would join in the creative process with her. College senior Ariana Silvan-Grau, who plays the role of Plath, and College junior Zoë DePreta, who is t...

Feature Photo: Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

Feature Photo: Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet

February 26, 2016

From left, pianist Sam Harris, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Justin Brown play compositional jazz at Joseph R. Clonick Recording Studio Sunday. Attendees filled the Studio past capacity, receiving the musicians — who performed as the Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet — fervently. Akinmusire, who has collaborated with jazz luminaries like Steve Coleman and appeared on rapper Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly, was born in Oakland...

Johnson Converts Insults to Compliments in Poetry

Louise Edwards, Arts Editor

February 26, 2016

Editor’s note: This article contains a racial slur. Spoken word poet Janae Johnson opened her performance Saturday at the Cat in the Cream with a “basketball poem.” She filled the room with empowering lines: “She’ll be picked last, but she’ll outshoot the entire team” and “He mad — she on the sixth grade team as a fifth grader.” While slam poetry can often be emotionally draining because of its heavy themes, Johnson’s piece, which focused on the achievements of Black female athletes, set a tone of success and triumph. “She win,” the closing line of the poem, was a theme that resonated throughout the evening. Johnson herself has gained much recognition within the slam community. Original...

Feature Photo: Melodies of the Soul

Feature Photo: Melodies of the Soul

February 19, 2016

Double-degree sophomore Raffi Boden on cello, Conservatory sophomore Max Weiner on bass, double-degree sophomore Theo Rosenfeld on saxophone, Conservatory junior Zoe Cutler on trombone and double-degree senior Emily Kuhn on trumpet perform at the Cat in the Cream. On Tuesday, the Jewish Art Collective hosted Melodies of the Soul: An Explosion of Music, which allowed students to express their spiritual identities through music. The event was based off of nigunim, a Hebrew word for wordles...

Feature Photo: “Thanks for Coming”

Feature Photo: “Thanks for Coming”

February 19, 2016

College sophomores Kyla Van Gelder, Isabel Levey-Swain, Lola Gatti and College first-year Sophia Attebery perform in College senior Alana Reibstein’s senior dance recital piece, “Thanks for Coming,” in Warner Main Space Friday and Saturday. The piece focused on how women struggle to find their voices within a patriarchal society. A male voice directed the performance by commanding the eight women dancers to perform absurd actions, a commentary on the unreasonable societal expectations placed...

Actors Impress in Psychological Drama

Actors Impress in Psychological Drama

December 11, 2015

Editor’s Note: This article discusses sexual violence and abuse. In College senior Preston Crowder’s play The Monsters Underneath, the Warington siblings descend on the family home in Moore Hills, TN, to visit their ailing sister, Yari (College junior Calpyso Smith). The opening scene of the play, which premiered Dec. 3–6 at Little Theater, is filled with a tumult of angry voices as the family quarrels in the living room of a home that is broken, both literally and figuratively. The house itself ...

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