The Gulf Coast Blog

Craft • Culture • News

Craft • Culture • News

Dora Malech makes her entrance into experimental poetry

Despy Boutris

To “stet” is the act of making a textual change and then changing it back and so on and so forth. In the spirit of “stetting,” Stet also acts as a means of reinventing language, just as Malech attempts to reinvent her own voice through this collection.

You Are Here: An Interview with Eduardo Portillo

Sheila Scoville

“When I built my first stretcher, it was like finding a big surprise. It let me reinforce what I had been doing with painting, which was playing around with points of tension, ideas about the canvas as a fabric, as something I could manipulate and explore different possibilities with, not just within the gallery but also with the rectangle. Painting didn’t have to be just rectangular—I really wanted to challenge that.”

Mass Culture and the American Poet: The Poem as Vaccination

Tony Hoagland

I once drove around southwest Arizona with a photographer named Pedro, from Mexico City. His specialty was making ethnographic forays into North America, and on this trip he was studying the culture of RVs—recreational vehicles—and their owners. In the…

Travels with Steve, and Good Writing

Tony Hoagland

My old friend and former teacher Steve Orlen and I walked many miles together along the wide avenues of Tucson, Arizona. Our promenades usually took place after the dinner hour, in the evening, when the blazing heat of the Sonoran day had at last relented. An evening breeze would finally have arisen, and the little desert sparrows flew back and forth between the lofty crowns of the palm trees that line those streets.

A Microinterview with Dorianne Laux

Despy Boutris

I think of poetry as musical language, close to every day speech but of a higher order, with a system of notation.

Experiments with White Heat

Melissa Mesku

That exalted moment when, out of nowhere, you are obliterated—completely, blissfully destroyed—by a voluptuous euphoria. A lightning flash of inspiration. That is white heat.

Catharsis: Sharon Kopriva with Darryl Lauster

Art Lies Archives

During the month of October 2018, two solo shows in Houston feature artists whose paths crossed fourteen years ago for this Art Lies interview.

An Aesthetic of Flow

Tony Hoagland

Eliot said that modern poetry is required to be difficult to understand because modern reality is difficult. But some poets are going to want poems to be seamless and available and clear as distilled water, and maybe narrative and a lucid report on human nature and experience.


Melissa Mesku

The epigraph: that little sentence or quote that precedes a story, chapter, or essay. Roxane Gay can’t stand them. Over the last decade, she’s made her case. In PANK in 2009: “[T]here is never a good reason for an epigraph in the creative form... I’m even starting to resent epigraphs in essays and short stories.” In a book review in 2011: “I never find the relevance of an epigraph no matter how hard I try.”