Ben DeVries

Ben DeVries (’15) graduated with degrees in literature and writing. He and his wife Jes, a fellow Calvin grad, live in Champaign, Illinois, where Ben is looking to add some letters behind his name. On the academic off-seasons, he reads fantasy and works as a glorified “go-fer” at the Champaign Park District. He’s been known to make a mean deep-dish pizza.

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Imagining the End

What matters here instead is the implicit challenge, the casual middle finger, that the novel tosses off at the rest of the genre.

Cthulhu Fhtagn

So, we should ask again, and with renewed urgency: why Lovecraft? In the face of his cultural saturation and manifest awfulness, how do we account for and reckon with his appeal?


All I know about the donut scene in Champaign, Illinois, I owe to a man named Pete.

Read fantasy. Not much else. Mostly Tolkien.

For a long time, my reading habits resembled a Michael Pollan polemic, if Michael Pollan had been trying to cure the Western diet with genre fiction instead of carrots: Read fantasy. Not much else. Mostly Tolkien.

To Be Intimate

Or to put it another way: what happens when marriage comes to be defined by the promise of sex?

Enter Toph

I spent a good chunk of my prewriting time for this blog post keeping Satan at bay.

We Would Prefer Not To

Turning out in droves despite rain and wind and snow, we marched and chanted and beat on bucket-drums and blew on whistles and papered the campus with fliers. We disrupted classes. We shut down buildings.

In Solidarity: A Letter before Striking

I do not want to strike. No one wants a strike. But if it comes to it, Jes and I will be on the picket line February 26, bright and early, because at that point we will have no other choice.

Stumping for Calvin

If nothing else then, the Illinois Regional College Fair confirmed for me what I already knew: I would make a terrible salesperson.

Chocolate Milk

The smoothies are revoltingly healthful. One recipe, dubbed “The Beginner,” calls for pear, banana, pineapple, avocado, and a full six cups of kale.

Farewell, Orphan Black

Like any good sci-fi tale, then, Orphan Black is finally far less interested in predicting what might be, than it is in describing what exists now.

Wiggles and Jiggles

The cheese cube relish, while very much not my thing, had a sort of melt-away pickle flavor that was not wholly unpleasant.

Mega Screen

Two weeks ago, in the lead-up to a concert, I got to read poetry off a video screen that was larger than the end zone of a football field.

Cheesecakes and IRB Forms

Toward the end of the graduate bible study my wife and I led this past academic year, two things were almost always certain: cheesecakes and IRB forms.

The Nineteen

The number nineteen appears with such frequency in this deposition, it begins to feel rehearsed.

I Consume

and when it bursts I imagine in my place a heap of broken bylines allusions clickbaits hottakes jpegs gifs intros outros all spooled out on the floor

Fly the W

If anyone in contemporary America can sympathize with the frustration of first-century Christians awaiting the imminent return of Christ, it’s we Cubs fans.

I Want To Believe

Specifically, I want to suggest that irrespective of the cloak-and-dagger politics it portrays, The X-Files does an excellent job of exposing our secret pleasure in conspiracy theories.

On Gollum

Gollum’s torture reminds us of the hand that we the good, we the kind and generous-minded, have in producing “bad character.” We call forth the best and worst in each other.

A Game of Croquet

Jessica, meanwhile, cut against the interpretive grain. She saw in Stephen’s lurching movements, his silent fury, his body at war with itself, something that looked like her.