The Gulf Coast Blog

Craft • Culture • News

Craft • Culture • News

Performing Blackness: Radical Presence

Arnea Williams

Five decades of artistry which may otherwise have been disregarded--that's what senior curator Valerie Cassel-Oliver showcased through her selection of over forty exemplary artists in Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art (November 17,…


Repetition, Variation, Connection

Aaron Bielish

The group show Present Tense, curated by Sapphire Williams (Lawndale Art Center, January 25-March 2, 2013), revolves around the concepts of premeditated and restricted actions. These are works which craft multiple and successive images, creating recurring…


A Mistaken Notion: The False Epiphany in Fiction

Justin Chrestman

By now most of us are probably familiar with the prominent role of epiphany in contemporary American short stories. In his craft book Making Shapely Fiction, Jerome Stern describes the epiphanic story, or what he calls "The Aha! Story," as the shape "of…


Leslie Hewitt, Bradford Young, and a Cold Intimacy

Betsy Huete

Artist Leslie Hewitt and filmmaker Bradford Young are currently showing (until May 5, 2013) their second and most recent collaborative effort, Untitled (Structures), at the Menil Collection. Commissioned by curator Michelle White in 2010, the pair began…


Luck Is Not Chance

Frances Justine Post

There is a revolution going on in the shiny, humid halls of the University of Houston's English Department. Though it is so far a small revolution, a whispered revolution, we want it to grow and multiply, jump genre lines, departmental lines, state lines.…


Fictional Exhaustion? Write a Letter!

Thomas Calder

Dear Reader, I've been working on my novel now for the last two years. I'm about six drafts in. After each draft I usually take a break to let the words sit, so that upon my return the flaws can jump out at me. Usually, these breaks don't last very long.…


"So Many Pistols I Have Borrowed to Protect Myselves!"

Katie Condon

It's easy to be overbearingly protective of our selves. Yes, selves. You know what I mean: The selves that revel in wasting time on BuzzFeed, or watching episode after episode of bad TV. The selves that eat only the icing off the midnight piece of leftover…


First Novel, Best Novel?

Steve Sanders

Cormac McCarthy's first novel The Orchard Keeper, released in 1965, is an often fascinating work, an evocation of a Depression-era Tennessee landscape that is as mythic and haunted as the sea in Moby-Dick. It also borders on unreadable. Graham Greene's…


Fame and the Myth of the Artist

Kimberly Bruss

The year I came to the University of Houston to pursue this thing called poetry, I was supposed to have a famous classmate. Gulf Coast managing editor Karyna McGlynn at AWP with...James Franco? Of course, that never happened. He deferred his acceptance…


Per Petterson

Tyson Morgan

I'm going to use my blogging opportunity to plug the Norwegian novelist Per Petterson. Spring's coming, and what better way to usher in the season than with some melancholic Nordic fiction? You probably don't need publicity if James Wood just did a piece…