Gulf Coast Books

Reviews • Interviews • et Cetera

Reviews • Interviews • et Cetera

Reclaiming a Name: On Alfian Sa’at’s Malay Sketches

That Alfian Sa’at’s Malay Sketches (ASMS) begins with a story centered around a non-Malay man signals the amorphousness of identity. Thus, from the first page ASMS responds to its namesake, colonial administrator Frank A. Swettenham’s Malay Sketches (FSMS).…


Sex in a Straightjacket: Randall Mann’s Proprietary

Robert Lee Thornton

Self-described on Twitter as a “queer mutt poet,” Mann’s poetry tangles with corporate culture, queer identity, and ownership. His new collection, Proprietary (Persea Books, 2017), treads water familiar to those who have followed Mann’s work in his previous…


Micro-Review: Michael Snediker's New York Editions

Samantha Thilen

If Michael Snediker’s New York Editions is a cipher, its messages are still tenderly, sympathetically erotic. We the readers are sometimes the cryptographers the poems intend, sometimes not. Regardless, in each of these poems I sense that the poet has…


A Review of Mai Der Vang’s Afterland

Caroline M. Mar

Mai Der Vang’s debut collection, Afterland, is an unforgettable and evocative book. The poems are full of smoke and ghosts, the kinds of lingering that make history manifest. The voices of these poems cry for that history, telling and retelling the stories…


Review of The Reef by Juan Villoro

Ray Barker

Understated and wrecked, Antonio “Tony” Gongora, the 53-year old narrator of Mexican writer Juan Villor’s recent novel, The Reef, is in a suspended state of recovery: recovering from the breakup of his semi-successful rock band, Los Extraditables (as…


someone was looking for me: A Review of Blunt Research Group’s The Work-Shy

Christian Bancroft

The Blunt Research Group descended upon the literary community in the summer of 2015, veiled with mystery, intrigue, and profundity. In their author bio, it states that they are “a nameless constellation of poets, artists, and scholars from diverse backgrounds.”…


Micro-Review: Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s Don’t Come Back

Sarah Hoenicke

Lina María Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas’s series of essays, Don’t Come Back, is an exploration of belonging and of the ways memory and imagination interact to create history. Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas reminds readers that we can still write creation narratives,…