is news, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs, alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.

Gulf Coast - Winter/Spring 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 18 Number 1
  • Published Date: Winter/Spring 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual

If you’re looking for one-stop shopping of the smartest poetry, fiction, non-fiction, reviews, and interviews there’s only one place to go: Gulf Coast. Let’s start with poetry. Work from Paul Muldoon, Barbara Ras, Denise Duhamel, James Shea, Robyn Art, Trent Busch, and Len Roberts, among others, that is playful, gorgeous, and challenging. Addressing topics as wide as a defense of rural America to a critique of writing workshops to a dying father, these poems raise the bar intellectually through formal innovation and erudition. When it comes to Gulf Coast’s fiction, John Weir’s “Neorealism at the Infiniplex” can serve as an example of the complexity and careful development common in these stories. The speaker in Weir’s tale deals with the death of a friend from AIDS. He begins, “I had planned to be sad about it, but it turned out I was relieved . . . What happened instead was that he was so mean for the last three months of his life that I stopped liking him. Not just at the time, but for all time…” Weir skillfully leads the reader through the days leading up to and including the friend’s funeral, during which the speaker reflects on the relationship, asserts, and revises his stance, and comes to terms with being a survivor in a generation laid to waste by the disease. For the quality of non-fiction, look no further than Joshua Harmon’s “The Annotated Mix-Tape, #2,” in which he parallels his recollections of a middle school Spanish class to buying vinyl singles in 2000: “It’s easy to fetishize a language one does not speak, easy to lift that language from the culture—or to lift the culture from the language—and to imagine it as some sort of romantic ideal. It’s similarly easy to fetishize a vinyl seven-inch record in these last days of vinyl…” In addition to all of the above, Gulf Coast offers some of the best reviews and interviews found in literary magazines. Of special mention in this issue is Ilya Kaminsky’s review of Peter Streckfus’s The Cuckoo and James Hall’s interview with Richard Siken. Do yourself a favor and buy this magazine.

Return to List.
Review Posted on January 31, 2006

We welcome any/all Feedback.