The Gulf Coast Blog

Craft • Culture • News

Craft • Culture • News

Sunshine, Bunnies...Blah Blah Blah

Jameelah Lang

People don't like happy stories, and that's the truth. You may have heard, "Happiness writes white on the page," which basically means, "Keep your happy story to your damn self, because we don't want to hear it." This goes for life, too, and if you were…


Cheryl Strayed at the Texas Book Festival

Edward Porter

About a year ago, someone named Cheryl Strayed friended me on Facebook. We had a mutual friend, my wife, so I accepted. After that--the deluge. Strayed's Wild, her memoir about her partial through-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail that she undertook in…


Beginning Creative Writing Students versus the Editors

Ashley Wurzbacher

[Wurzbacher, who is currently teaching first-year fiction at the University of Houston, would like to thank her English 3329 students for permission to reproduce excerpts from their critiques--contrasted here with the rather dimmer pronouncements of anonymous…


Texas Book Festival 2012

David Tomas Martinez

Sometimes there are unexpected pleasures that give surprising depths of delight. And not in a Christmas Eve kind of way--me a robust nine years old, knowing my parents bought me an Atari, so I stayed up all night, tossing and twirling in my racecar bed,…


I Wish My Writing Degree Only Cost $5

Zachary Martin

Twenty-six years. That's how long Gulf Coast has been publishing the very best fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual art. A lot has changed since Donald Barthelme and Philip Lopate founded the journal in 1986: the rise of internet commerce and the e-reader,…


How to Make an Art Fair Work for You

Rachel Hooper

The Houston Fine Art Fair (Photography/Gary Fountain, September 15, 2012) Last year, Houston went from zero art fairs to two, the Houston Fine Art Fair and the Texas Contemporary, and both are back this year with the addition of a satellite project,…


The Surrealist in the Closet

Elizabeth Lyons

The other day, I was texting with a friend of mine about how, now that we were at the midway point of the semester, we'd soon be stress-crying in the closet at a local museum. She hence named it, via text, "the crying closet." She asked if I thought the…


Bad Poet, No Biscuit

Kimberly Bruss

I have a friend in the poetry program here who swears up and down, side to side, that he hates poetry. I'm not talking about the kind of hatred that accompanies respect for but frustration with a body of artwork--that is, I hate opera because I do not…


Good Guys, Bad Guys: Caring about Character

Elizabeth Winston

In my fiction workshop yesterday, we had a discussion about the necessary elements of good fiction. We talked about readability and various kinds of plot; something has to happen in a story, otherwise it wouldn't be a story at all, but that thing need…


Parent/Writer/Reader: Coming to Terms with YA Lit

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I'm always a mom first. I work hard to not talk about my kids all the time--and yet I love to tell their stories. I love stories. I love to read stories. I love to write stories. And in that literary spirit, I want my kids to read and write stories, as…