The Gulf Coast Blog

Craft • Culture • News

Craft • Culture • News

On Ed Bok Lee’s Poem, "The Schooner Bar"

David Mura

The Schooner Bar By Ed Bok Lee NOTE: Your screen size may affect line breaks in this poem. Click to read it at its home in Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Farther inside this long bar near Lake and Hiawatha, they burn Over beers in the dark, these men and two…


RECAP: Guest Blogger David Mura

Georgia Pearle

Tomorrow's blog post marks the end of a month at GC Online with David Mura as guest blogger. Our hope in having David as a guest was to engage in the conversations online, not only about artistic craft and process, but also about a larger landscape, about…


The Storyteller as Sadist (or Zuckerman’s Complaint)

David Mura

        If in the world of our stories, we as authors resemble God, it is because we visit trials and tribulations upon our protagonists, while we sit removed from their world, watching them suffer, investigating their suffering, rendering their suffering. …


Wells Fargo Sub-prime Loans, Baltimore & Systemic Racism

David Mura

On a friend’s Facebook page today, I found a photo of abandoned row houses, presumably in Baltimore, with the caption: “Where were all the folks concerned with Baltimore’s private property when Wells Fargo Bank first pushed sup-prime mortages on Bmore’s…


On Freddy Gray, Baltimore and the Social Contract

David Mura

        At what point does the social contract end? If violence can be wreaked upon you without cause? If your life can be taken from you while you are unarmed and your murderer goes unpunished? If your rights as a citizen have been taken away simply…


Story & Narrative Voice in Memoir

David Mura

Memoir presents a past self--the experiences of that past self and how that self understood those events.  But in addition, memoir frequently presents a present self who sees these past events and the past self differently from the way the past self viewed…


Notes on Questioning Whiteness as a Literary Practice

David Mura

Note: This is a selection from a larger essay that provides readings of the opening passages from works by Jonathan Franzen, Jhumpa Lahiri, Shawn Wong, Junot Diaz, Sherman Alexie, and ZZ Packer.  About a year ago, I was talking to a younger white writer…


The Student of Color in the Typical MFA Program

David Mura

Note: In this essay, I am obviously generalizing about MFA programs, and readers no doubt will argue against such generalizing or bring up exceptions; e.g, witness the responses to the New Yorker blog post by Junot Diaz, “POC vs. MFA.”  But like Diaz,…


Irreconcilable Conflicts, Lies & Character

David Mura

When things go wrong with your fiction, you may need to ask yourself:  What do the principles of story tell me about what’s missing in this story or novel?  What do those principles tell me about what needs to be changed or added?  How do the principles…


"I am a Sansei"

David Mura

                                                                        I             “I am a Sansei, a third generation Japanese American.”              This is a line in the first chapter of Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, which centers on my…