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Gulf Coast - Winter/Spring 2005

  • Issue Number: Volume 17 Number 2
  • Published Date: Winter/Spring 2005
  • Publication Cycle: Biannual
Usually, I take a week to read a good literary magazine, parceling out the pieces over long evenings sitting on my porch or during my thrice-weekly ride on the stationary bike. It’s a sign of respect that I don’t read it all in one sitting. Now I have a new magazine to add to my weekly ritual: Gulf Coast. This issue, a hefty 250-page tome, is filled with the kind of quality writing I’d expect of a prominent journal; writers include well known poets, novelists, and essayists, like Jocelyn Bartkevicius and David Lazar, as well as new and emerging writers. This issue is, in part, dedicated to those writers affiliated with University of Houston, including a few wonderful pieces by Donald Barthelme, such as “The School,” an ironic look at an unlucky group of elementary school kids who are cursed to see most things dear to them die: “They [the children] asked me, where did they go? The trees, the salamander, the tropical fish, Edgar, the poppas and the mommas, Matthew and Tony, where did they go?” Like this story, the journal explores the salient moments in life: claustrophobia in the Catacombs of France in Debra Marquart’s thoughtful essay “The Perils of Travel”; a child’s innovation in Lance Larson’s eloquent poem “The Apprentice”; or a poignant look at a girl growing up in spite of her mother’s inadequacies in Natalie Serber’s wonderful short story “Plum Tree.” Perhaps the superb quality of this magazine shouldn’t be surprising given that the Executive Editor is the distinguished poet, Mark Doty. []
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Review Posted on September 30, 2005

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