Interview, Prose

Oriel Interviews: Nick

‘Everyone at Oriel is friendly and willing to help’ Interview conducted by Chloe Whitehead Nick, one of Oriel’s dedicated food preparation assistants, started working in College as a kitchen porter in early July this year. Born in Oxford when the Westgate shopping centre was still terraced housing, he enjoys walking along the beautiful canals and […]

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Humour, Prose

Misfortune and Monopoly

by Peter Hammerton Any self-proclaimed board games aficionado, sitting in a café playing The Settlers of Catan with a tattoo of an icosahedral die on his forearm, will tell you that Monopoly is terrible. It lasts forever; it’s obvious who’s going to win long before it ends; it’s a glorification of capitalism, rugged individualism and […]

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Creative Writing, Prose

The True Fortune

by Monim Wains Behemoth blocks of glass and concrete rolled by the window of the bus, wobbling in the streaks of London’s rain. Alex gave no notice to the wet-smelling air from the window, too busy tapping his foot on the floor. He kept biting on his lip, his head stiff and restless. Butterflies flitted […]

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Poetry, Prose

Destination / Extermination

by Ruida Ding   Four past twelve. ‘Forty-two seconds left to make it to the Exam  Schools’; I took in a last eyeful of the resplendent Oxonian  architecture and let out a deep long sigh, ‘My sincerest gratitude,  dearest punctual lecturer.’ A swarm of students made the beeline for the  Bodleian transport booths and I […]

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Comment, Prose

Close Campsfield

by Joanna Engle Unknown to many, North Oxford is the home to one of the UK’s ten immigration removal centres. Campsfield opened in 1993 and its detainees have included refugees, asylum seekers, foreign national offenders, and ‘overstayers’.  All of them are held without charge, without a time limit, often without legal representation. Around 25,000 people […]

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Poetry

Head Clot

by Monim Wains   Seeping out the hole in his heart, Black blood, clinging to the ribs in his core, Pulling him to the floor, Pulling the light in his eyes away.   At times he would hide it, Dam the lump in his throat with his teeth, Eyes grinning cheek to cheek, Happy as […]

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Comment, Prose

Fortune – A Fresher’s Perspective

by Martin Yip Would you agree with the claim that all freshers are fortunate? Each year, about 3200 undergraduates are admitted to Oxford, which comes to a 17% admissions rate. That percentage is slated to decrease, as the number of applicants has been increasing over the last few years, while the number of places has […]

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Poetry

On Fortune

by David Asamoah   Fortune’s a gentle breeze lost in life’s storm  Whose guiding breaths often keep me afloat I fear those breaths will stop being the norm And give cruel Neptune time to flex and gloat I steer the wheel yet move as fate allows  My destiny feels out of my control Is it […]

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Culture, Prose, Reviews

Talaash: A Preview

by Zad El Bacha I was cold and tired, searching for Saint Antony’s music room, when a vibrant singing called to me from across the quad. I stepped into the room, and the energy of the cast and the rich, vivid music overwhelmed me. This is how I was introduced to a preview of Talaash, […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word on Movember

by Michael Angerer This, dear readers, would usually be the place to share with you some etymological musings on the word ‘spark’. Usually, we might inform you that according to the Oxford English Dictionary, it rather unremarkably derives from Old English spearca, meaning ‘a small particle of fire’; and that, more interestingly, it eventually also […]

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Poetry

Here and Now

by Aidan Chivers   A mayfly, dancing through her only spring,          Explores her meadow, bathing in the light Of sunbeams passing through her dappled wing          Which flutters on her maiden, carefree flight. Some fleeting words float through the dying breeze –           She flutters […]

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Poetry

Flicker

by Monim Wains   I fizzed and cracked, A bright sparkler sparkling Kissing sizzling in the night,   I glittered in the eyes of those who held me, Wide-toothed smiles of pride At the sun in their hands,   A trailblazer, purple in every blink, Close your eyes, still shining, From afar you’d see me […]

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Poetry

No Longer Do They Fear the Dawn of Night

by David Asamoah   No longer do they fear the dawn of night  Or shudder at the absence of the sun  No day lasts without end but it’s begun  In the small hours of morn promising light   During the noon, the sun stands its full height And sombre thoughts of evening are slewn  With […]

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Poetry

Restart

by Tom Saers   Make me spinning visible to Make my pain complete?   And I will not allow this to repeat  Said someone part of me  And I will not allow this to repeat  Said generation me, my parent   What I wouldn’t advertise  To find a smile with space enough for twenty paper […]

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Poetry

I Woke up This Morning as a Mermaid

by Simone Fraser   I woke up this morning as a mermaid Silver scales rubbing the scratchy university-issue bed sheets It had happened before, Slipping under water in familiar a chipped porcelain bath tub Or the pool around the corner from my childhood home I’d wait it out surrounded in bubbles or friendship Marvel at […]

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Poetry

Welcome Back

by Aidan Chivers   The sleepless moonlight dusts the tops of trees,   And tastes a calming scent upon my lips   Which curls around my outstretched fingertips And drifts, like fleeing dreams, along the breeze. From dusky monochrome I turn away –   I step inside, try in the darkness not to choke,   And seek within this […]

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Creative Writing, Poetry, Prose

The Climber

by Monim Wains I have watched him, the cherub, from the moment he cried. He opened his eyes and gaped at the sky. His penny-sized heart just fluttering by; pulsing for the clouds, woollen and white. He reached from his cot, with his fingers he stretched. In his eyes, I could see the stars reflect. […]

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Culture, Prose

Saving Imagination: Myth and Legend in World War I Poetry

by Grace Khuri This year marks the centenary of the Armistice that ended World War I on 11 November, 1918. Throughout the nation, memorial events—both intellectual and artistic—have been and still are taking place. During this commemorative season, I would like to draw attention to a perhaps underappreciated aspect of World War I poets, namely […]

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Humour, Prose

The Trouble with Quidditch

by Peter Hammerton Harry Potter, my favourite fantasy series, has its own sport: Quidditch! Everyone loves Quidditch, but not everyone loves how it works. Here’s a brief summary: wizards and witches fly on broomsticks around a stadium. Each team has three Chasers (who score 10 points for every time they throw a ball through a […]

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Comment, Prose

A Word from the Editors: Fantasy

by Michael Angerer The beauty of Fantasy – and, in part, the reason why it was chosen as this issue’s theme – is both how varied its meanings can be and how close they ultimately are to the etymological root of the word. A quick glance at the Oxford English Dictionary, preferably in its handy […]

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Poetry

Swans, Sweet Trips and Other Music on My Own

by Tom Saer   Push your eyes until the logic’s gone and then, in millions and millions of yards and scars of smiles in eyes The destination singing to the cracks in mattresses is on your right   I know I’m making deeper crevices when walking while there’s everything but softness round my ears: things […]

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Prose

A Fresh Perspective

by Monim Wains Welcome to Oxford, the best university in the world! (For three years running, don’t you know, no one in the UK has ever done that before!) And welcome to Oriel, the hands-down, no questions asked, best college in Oxford.  That’s quite an introduction to live up to, but the number of times […]

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Poetry

An Old Dawn

by Chris Hill   We tend to respect things that have endured for a long time.   We respect our professors Because we know that years of hard study have given them knowledge. That time has taught them more than books could.   We respect antiques As relics of an era before our own. As […]

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Poetry

Dawn Poem

by Colleen Cumbers Euphoria A struggle, a fight After an interminable darkness The first rays pierce through Penetrating the body, the heart, the soul The body The thrill pulsing through the veins The gush of intoxication Splendour Beauty The fervency of the mortal The golden tinge to the world around you Everything, all that ever […]

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Poetry

無限 wú xìan – Boundless

by Yi Yun Soo 這無邊無際的大海 Zhè​wú​bīan wú​jì​de dà​hǎi 是思鄉情懷 Shì​sī​xīang qíng huái 亦是龐大的夢想 Yì shì​páng dà​de mèng xǐang 更是為未來擁抱的希望。 Gèng shì​wèi wèi lái yōng bào de xī​wàng 有了希望 才有力量 Yǒu le xī​wàng cái yǒu lì​liàng 活出一個無悔的人生。 Huó​chū​yí gè​wú​huǐ de rén shēng   This vast, boundless sea Could be our longing for home [And also] our […]

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Prose

The Night is Darkest Just Before the Dawn

by Martin Yip The night is darkest just before the dawn. That was a quotation that Edward Leung purportedly took from a Batman film, as shown in the documentary Lost in the Fumes. Leung was a student from the University of Hong Kong who majored in philosophy. More importantly, he was and remains a figurehead […]

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Poetry

Arpeggi for the New Year

by Tom Saer   Forgetting this is what my time together  knows, considering   [I hit the bottom and]   the way that darkness has been put to use  since goodness knows BC. But now the bonfire substitute  illuminates the shame with preset ambiguity: Are there any ways to warn my friends  About the Fallout […]

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Music

Idyll

by Lauren Hill; original composition for piano, flute, clarinet, violin and cello. Performed by players from the CHROMA ensemble. Score to be found here.

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