review by quinn burkhart, susquehanna university, class of 2021
Adrian College’s student-run literary magazine, Oxcart, is published yearly with sponsorship from the Adrian College English Department. They accept the most unique and creative work their students have to offer.
The cover of the magazine features a darkly-toned nature scene, with what could be either the sun or the moon glowing down onto the tops of the trees. This is the beauty of the Oxcart– let your eyes feast upon the range of exquisite photography within these pages and let your mind interpret how it may.
Turn the cover and you’ll find fonts and words as bold and brilliant as the stories themselves. From tales of ADHD and brotherhood, this issue of the Oxcart will hold your gaze, stop your breath, and keep you hungry for more.
Rachel Kanaziz’s “Shadows of the Night” leads us on moonlit horseback ride, complete with freezing temperatures and coyotes threatening nearby. We travel through the woods with two girls, Sidney and Claire, along with their horses, Zeus and Rico, listening to “the continuous chirping crickets competing with the croaking frogs.” The group arrives to an illuminated clearing, where they struggle to contain their fear as something big lurks beneath the water. A humorous beaver sticks his head out of the water instead, as the girls continue. Eventually, we reach the misted pasture, realizing the “mysterious and exciting adventure” of the woods.
Spencer Durham’s “Homegrown,” a short poem, takes us back to the vivid, horrific events of September 11th, 2001. He watches the towers fall, the people below becoming covered in dust. His religion becomes threatened, “the media and politicians run a smear campaign of fear and exaggeration against my religion.” The end of the poem introduces us to the silver-lining on the horizon, as Durham grows and discovers his purpose as “Allahu Akbar.”
A stunning photo by Justin Cox finds us at the end, offering what could either be a sunset or sunrise, reminding us of the beauty and bright experiences to which we look forward in a modern era of war and darkness. An issue praised by the editors for becoming a remarkable collection of stories tackling current issues, this is one you won’t want to miss.