The Gulf Coast Blog

Craft • Culture • News

Craft • Culture • News

The Love of a Good Publication

Talia Mailman

Anyone who knows me will tell you this: I hate dating. I hate dating so much I'd rather stare at my ceiling fan for four hours watching dust settle than sit at a bar talking to a stranger. I hate dating so much I'd rather grade the fifty-four undergrad…


Writing Space

Sam Mansfield

Space and place continue to be fertile territory for writers living around the world today. Why? We hardly know the space we live in. Just last month, scientists discovered a volcano on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean more massive than any other volcano…


The George Saunders First-Person Pharmaceutical Diction Shift

Will Wilkinson

George Saunders does this thing where he give characters drugs to make them talk fancy. Two stories in Saunders' latest collection, The Tenth of December, use this trick. In "Escape from Spiderhead" inmates in a penal facility are exploited for pharmaceutical…


What We've Been Up To

Zachary Martin

Most often, the wheels turn slowly at literary journals. Response times to submissions and queries stretch into the months; production schedules are counted in weeks instead of days; at a biannual like Gulf Coast, whole seasons go by before a new issue…


Liberation and Solace in David Foster Wallace

Steve Sanders

Five years ago, about a week after I handed in my MFA thesis, I learned of the suicide of David Foster Wallace. By September's end, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns had filed for bankruptcy and the Great Recession was upon us. It was a bad time to reenter…


The Resonance of Objects: Thomas Derr's Telephone Road

Iain Morrisson

Telephone Road. Thomas Derr, Colgate University Press: Hamilton, 2012. There is something of a gap in contemporary Western literature in what might be called, after Camus, Sartre and perhaps Pirsig, the philosophical novel. Thomas Derr's Telephone Road…


All-Time, All-Star, All-Literature Football

David Tomas Martinez

Ever since I was five years old, September has meant the start not only of school, but also of football. In honor of this, I have created the All-Time, All-Star, All-Literature Football team. If I have cut your favorite player, let me know in the comments.…


First Poem, Best Poem

Layla Benitez-James

I find myself standing a little ways away from my lectern, staring off into space and picking at my lips with bitten-short fingernails. This happens every once in a while when I am working--I find that I unconsciously drift away physically from my workspace…


Looking at the Sunnyside of Life: Lessons from Southside

D'Lynn Barham

"Everyone has a personal story to tell." This is one of the core values of Writers in the Schools. Along with many other UH creative writing graduate students, I work for WITS, a non-profit organization that sends writers into classrooms across the Houston…