The Oberlin Review

Oslam Open Mic Highlights Talent of New Poets

Kate Fishman, Arts & Culture Editor

September 14, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

Each time a poet took to the stage and announced their name and pronouns followed by “I’m a first-year,” the audience erupted into a chorus of snapping and cheering. This was “Back 2 School Open Mic,” hosted by OSlam, Oberlin’s poetry collective. The event, which occurred last Friday at the Cat in the Cream, was the first opportunity this academic year for Oberlin students to hop on stage alongside OSlam’s three current members and share some of their work. “I’ve worked a lot of open mics because I work at the Cat in the Cream, and it can be really hard,” College junior Amy Sahud said. “The energy can definitely dip, [but] I feel like we sustained it. I thought [the audience] was really supportive,...

“Citizen Illegal” Rejects Generalizations of Immigrant Experience

Nathan Carpenter, Editor-in-Chief

September 7, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

  The current immigration system in the United States is a hopelessly broken contradiction. We demonize immigrants and yet rely on and exploit their labor to sustain our economy. Our highest court upholds policy that uses the arbitrary justification of borders to dictate who is banned from entering our country. It is within this context that Citizen Illegal — a stunning debut by poet José Olivarez — exists. As its title suggests, the collection of poems focuses significantly on immigration, borders, home, and movement, particularly in a Mexican and Mexican-American context. Olivarez’ work is so powerful, however, because of its personal anecdotes and its commentary on how our national contradictions complica...

OSLAM Poets Present Grand Slam, Select 2018 CUPSI Team

Julia Peterson, Arts & Culture Editor

December 8, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry, Recent Stories

Poets of OSLAM, the College’s slam poetry team, convened for their biggest performance of the semester, the Grand Slam, in Dye Lecture Hall Saturday night. The Slam, which featured performances from ten student poets, was not only a moment to showcase these poets’ work to the wider student community — it was also a competition. The poets were vying for a spot on Oberlin’s College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational team, which will travel to Temple University in Philadelphia this April to compete at the national level. This year’s CUPSI team will be formed by College sophomore Zite Ezeh, College junior Sarah Ridley, and OSLAM co-presidents and College juniors Hanne Williams-Baron and Deborah Johnson. College fi...

Safia Elhillo Delivers Sharp, Candid Poetry Performance

Ananya Gupta, Arts and Culture Editor

September 15, 2017

Filed under ARTS, Literature & Poetry

“As usual, I was thinking about race; I wrote a poem.” said Sudanese-American performance poet Safia Elhillo as she delivered her sassy wit in a soothing voice last Friday at the Cat in the Cream. Author of the full-length poetry collection The January Children, Elhillo is an acclaimed slam poet who has performed at the South African State Theatre, the New Amsterdam Theater on Broadway, and at TEDxNewYork, and has competed nationally with the New York University collegiate championship slam poetry team and the DC Youth Slam Poetry Team. Having earned accolades including the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize (co-winner) and the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Elhillo, though young, is truly...

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...

Poetry Picks

Poetry Picks

April 14, 2017

https://issuu.com/theoberlinreview/docs/4.14.2017_final/8

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...

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...

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...

Established 1874.