The Gulf Coast Blog

Craft • Culture • News

Craft • Culture • News

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.

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.”

A Review of Valdez's Stations by Garry Reece

Vincent Valdez

In 2004, the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio exhibited paintings by Valdez related to prizefighting. The Houston writer Garry Reece published this review in Volume 44 of ArtLies, in which he traces the dubious history of professional fighting and compares…

Strategies of Art Making

Francesca Fuchs

A friend in England asked me just recently whether I thought her work had become too much like 'the last cry of a dinosaur.' I thought not, but it made me wonder whether the whole art endeavour wasn't a little like that dinosaur's last cry. Art has been…

I Hate a Rainy Night

Dana DuTerroil

Thursday, August 24, 2017 Hurricane preparation begins with a conversation about a small claims court case involving a batch of botched edible underwear. I am on the phone with my mother who is regaling me with her latest round of America’s Court binge-watching,…


Michael Galko

I left my sandals on the stoop  and they were borrowed by someone  who needs wet shoes