Gulf Coast Books

Reviews • Interviews • et Cetera

Reviews • Interviews • et Cetera

Verisimilitude: Truth in Art and in Rosalie Knecht's Relief Map

Sarah-Jane Abate

Rosalie Knecht’s Relief Map is a classic coming-of-age novel set in Lomath, Pennsylvania during a slow, boring summer. Much like any summer in small-town America, until police and FBI barricade the town: they’re looking for an international fugitive,…


Review of Anna Kovatcheva's The White Swallow

Jeff Albers

“This is a story of Bulgaria,” Anna Kovatcheva writes in the acknowledgments of The White Swallow, winner of the 2014 Gold Line Press Fiction Chapbook Competition. Drawing on Bulgarian folklore’s figuration of the white swallow as healer, the fantastic…


Review: The Spokes of Venus by Rebecca Morgan Frank

Aza Pace

Rebecca Morgan Frank’s poetry collection The Spokes of Venus presents a smooth, sensitive exploration into the subtleties of perception and art. The book takes as its starting point the story of Percival Lowell, an astronomer who testified that he had…


“Tethered between worlds”: A Review of Vievee Francis’s Forest Primeval

Christian Bancroft

By inverting the phrase, primeval forest, the title of Vievee Francis’s newest collection of poems, Forest Primeval, foreshadows the kinds of spaces readers will inhabit, inviting us to consider worlds previously unimaginable; that is, until we experience…


Why We Chose It: "The Hunger Essay" by Claudia Cortese

Melanie Brkich

Claudia Cortese blew us away with her genre-bending nonfiction piece, “The Hunger Essay,” featured as one of Gulf Coast’s Online Exclusives for Spring 2016. Cortese is a fearless writer, exposing the deep, dark history of body dysmorphic disorders­—how…


Tested Waters: A Review of CounterCurrent 2016

Alexandra Irrera

Each year, CounterCurrent establishes its roots a bit deeper within the Houston art scene. April 12 – 17, 2016 brought the third iteration of this experimental festival organized by the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.…


Considering the Red Frontier: A Review of THE INTERVIEW: Red, Red Future

Alexandra Irrera

With premonitions of climate change and the exhaustion of the Earth’s resources ever-present, humans may be gazing up towards Mars more frequently. Despite the defunding of NASA, commercial space flight seeks to bring human colonization to Mars by 2026.…


Sound Spaces: A Review of Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud’s Holdings & Intervals

Alexandra Irrera

While sound may be the least tangible of artistic mediums, it can also be the most penetrating. It’s a form of expression that slips through and around you. More rarely, it can touch you—its vibrations dancing on skin, causing a delicate physical sensation…


Interview: Andrea Lee

Julia Brown

Andrea Lee writes the kind of dazzling, lyrical prose that delights with its boldness—over three acclaimed novels, a New York Times Notable short story collection, and many essays and articles in publications like Time, The New Yorker, and Vogue, she…