Five underrated classics

1.Cane, Jean Toomer (1923) – Harlem Renaissance author Toomer beautifully interweaves lyric, prose and drama in this series of vignettes written about the cultural history and experiences of African Americans in the United States. These stories are often pervaded by nauseating violence, such as cruel ostracisation in “Becky” or sexual violence in the “Box Seat”, […]

Continue Reading

Review: The Last Bookshop

Independent bookshops are a dying race, callously destroyed by online purchases and dooming their owners to disillusioning profit losses. However, on 25 Walton Street, a survivor determinedly battles on. The Last Bookshop, providing quaint mint-green tables outside for those who wish to read with a coffee, and a perpetual deal of two books for five […]

Continue Reading

“Describe yourself like a male author would”

A recent Twitter challenge to “describe yourself like a male author would” has gone viral, with women satirising the sexual objectification and tired clichés found in much of contemporary fiction. The challenge was instigated by Whitney Reynolds (media personality and television talk show host) in response to a tweet from Gwen C. Katz, who had […]

Continue Reading

Rupi Kaur: Redefining how we think of poetry or taking it too far?

Even if you aren’t into poetry, if you’re on the Internet, you’ve probably heard of Rupi Kaur. Her poetry collections, Milk and Honey and The Sun and her Flowers, have received a mixed reception across an ever-widening platform, owed largely to the fact that most of her poems are short enough to be squeezed into […]

Continue Reading

125 years of Sherlock Holmes: remembering Conan Doyle’s legend

Conan Doyle did not want to be remembered as the man who created Sherlock Holmes: this seems unfortunate, perhaps, when one looks back over the history and extraordinary popularity of the world’s most famous detective. From his first appearance in the Strand in 1887, Holmes, with his (somewhat apocryphal) deerstalker and omnipresent pipe, has remained […]

Continue Reading

Poetry review: the sun and her flowers by Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur’s debut collection ‘milk and honey’ liberated poetry from the archaism of regulated metre and stuffy subject matter. Her fluid and plain style is known for beautifully encapsulating the struggles of heartbreak, femininity and defiance. However, Kaur’s ambrosia formula of abstract sketches and lower case-lettered odes to self-love in ‘milk and honey’ seem at […]

Continue Reading

Books that Helped Me Through Freshers’ Week

Dear Freshers, Mammoth reading lists govern the life of most Oxford students’ lives. They dictate your evening plans, your library adventures and your closest friends will inevitably be those whose reading lists are comparable to yours. However, I’m asking you right now to do the unthinkable – forget these all-powerful lists for a while, because […]

Continue Reading

Poetry review: ‘milk and honey’ by Rupi Kaur

‘milk and honey’, Kaur’s debut poetry collection, is one of few commercially popular works of poetry in recent years. This is not to say that no other significant or impressive collections of contemporary poetry have been published, but rather that no other has achieved such global popularity. Upon publication, ‘milk and honey’ sold over 1.5 […]

Continue Reading

Award-winning student poet Theophilus Kwek discusses the ocean, identity, and poetry

Safer Waters: Writing from a Distance It’s summer again, and I’ve been thinking about the sea. I often wonder if growing up on an island has meant that I can hear its siren call even here, in landlocked Oxford: a low foghorn sounding up the Thames, rattling the boathouses. Its undertow can be strong, too […]

Continue Reading