Launch and Reading Party for Issue 13.2

imageDo you feel gloomy that Culture Shock is over? Are you freaking out over finals? Is your roommate pissing you off?

We have the solution: come to the Buffer Room in the Administration Building at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 28 for our 2016 spring/summer issue launch party. There’ll be sumptuous refreshments, fresh copies of the issue and readings from some of the extraordinary talent showcased in it. You don’t want to miss this for anything.

Music as Activism: An Examination of Two Songs



By Jalen Garcia-Hall

In mid-2015, months after releasing the extraordinary To Pimp a Butterfly, rapper Kendrick Lamar debuted his now hit single “Alright” live at the 2015 BET awards, rapping, “We gon’ be alright!” and “We hate popo/ wanna kill us dead in the street for sure,” atop a tagged cop car and ending the performance in front of a battered American flag. Soon after, this song was sensationalized by two different parties. First, Fox news contributor Geraldo Rivera responded to the performance by calling it, “Not respectful at all,” and claiming, “this is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years. This is exactly the wrong message.” Following that, protestors subscribing to the Black Lives Matter movement turned the song into a kind of anthem, shouting “We gon’ be alright!” repeatedly at CPD at Cleveland State University after police pepper-sprayed the crowd during a demonstration. Continue reading “Music as Activism: An Examination of Two Songs”

Free Higher Education


By Raven Williams

The increasing number of student loan debt is a big concern for future and current college students. Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders has an elaborate plan on how to tackle this issue. If Sanders is elected as the 45th president of the United States, he plans to make every four-year public college or university, tuition free. The candidate calls this the College for All Act. Sanders has a huge platform for his campaign, he plans on to tackle on many problems that America’s currently facing, overpriced college being one of them. This proposal may be one of the biggest and most important for many people who desires a higher education. Continue reading “Free Higher Education”

The Right Kind of Romanticism

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By Lucas Tromblee

How many shots at writing a poem does it take be a poet? A long answer short: more than a couple. To go out in the woods with a gun doesn’t make you a hunter. Neither do deer head mounts on your wall. A hunter is what he claims to be in a few short, definitive moments. Those are the analogous moments when the poet is writing a poem. So much discussion around poetry has so little to do with writing it. Writing it is what matters. Whether you’re a poet before or after is just semantics. Continue reading “The Right Kind of Romanticism”

Transforming the Neuberger: Should the Admired Museum Exhibit Student Work?


By Chris Sommerfeldt

Purchase is arguably one of SUNY’s most prominent arts campuses with nationally acclaimed music, dance, and art conservatories. Student artwork adorns administrative offices as well as dining halls; the college president regularly sends out calls for public art installations and students are provided resources to put on their own shows and exhibitions.

To say the least, the college encourages artistry.

There is, however, one place on campus where student artwork surprisingly plays no part: the Neuberger Museum of Art. Continue reading “Transforming the Neuberger: Should the Admired Museum Exhibit Student Work?”

Talking with Susan Breen

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By Jamison Murcott

This semester, Italics Mine had the opportunity to sit down and interview author Susan Breen, who’s new mystery series, Maggie Dove, will be digitally released on June 14, 2016. Here’s an excerpt of the interview, which will be published in Italics Mine’s upcoming issue.

Italics Mine: What is the easiest part of writing for you? Continue reading “Talking with Susan Breen”

The Transformation of the Fairy Tale


By Cody La Vada

In 1979, British novelist Angela Carter forever changed the model of the fairy tale with the publication of her short fiction collection, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, which contains ten reworkings of classic tales ranging from a novella-length piece inspired by the “Bluebeard” story to a micro-fiction piece that barely adds up to five hundred words based on an obscure variation of the “Snow White” tale. The anthology was revolutionary at the time of its publication because it reimagined traditional and beloved stories through a modern lens. Most notably, the collection remains a pivotal part of English literature because of Carter’s depiction of women; rather than playing into the tired tropes of female heroines in fairy tales as weak, or fragile, Carter creates dynamic young women navigating the complexities of adulthood. By drawing on and subverting the archetypes and motifs of classic fairy tales, Carter manages to both reflect the macabre undertones of the original works that inspired her, and the relevance of the stories in modern times. Continue reading “The Transformation of the Fairy Tale”

The Profession of Piety

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By Megan Byron

Many student writers would confirm that when their choice of major was expressed to the typical curious acquaintance, the reaction of said person was predictable. It is not the same reaction one receives when they are majoring in the medical field: a lit-up face, a congratulatory tone, and a sense of general acceptance that you chose the right path. Creative writing receives a more skeptical response, somewhere between a polite grin and a slapping critical tone. It is an unpleasant feeling when your decision is not given the respect that other, more “preferred” life paths receive. Yet you will have something to say to the ill informed when you happily boast about your path with an enthusiasm only matched by a mother whose child is student of the month. Continue reading “The Profession of Piety”

Beyond the Pronouns: Point of View in Prose

By Molly McNally  

image 2Before the setting, before the characters, before rising action and conflict and resolution, a writer is faced with the question: from what point of view should the story be told? A writer can use the first person (the “I” who speaks), second person (the “you” who the piece addresses), or third person (the “him/her/they”). They can narrate through an omniscient voice that can see everything existing in the world of the story, a limited voice that is contained to the mind of one or a few characters, or an objective voice that never delves into the interiority of characters, but only describes actions and objects. Point of view, however, can affect more than just pronouns. A biography written in second person would make the reader, rather than the historical figure, the subject of the piece. A memoir written in third person would detach the reader from the personal aspect of the writing. How much distance does the reader need from the piece – should they be in the thick of the action or an observer? Point of view may seem like a simple enough choice, but there are so many nuances to that choice, which can change its very meaning. Continue reading “Beyond the Pronouns: Point of View in Prose”

The Evolution of The Martian


By Zoe Nathan

When people think of books, they think of bookstores, libraries, and even school textbooks. All of these books went through different publishing houses and had many people working on them, advertising them, making sure everything was just as it should be before the book made it onto a bookstore shelf to be judged by the general public. A lot of people think that this is the only way to get a piece of writing out into the world, but some novels have humbler origins. Continue reading “The Evolution of The Martian”