The “Gulf Coast” Reading Series will conclude its final reading from the students in UH’s nationally acclaimed creative writing graduate program at 7 p.m. Friday at Brazos Bookstore.
“Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts” editors Ian Stansel and Rebecca Wadlinger are scheduled to appear at the event Friday night as well as Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing and Literature Zack Bean.
The series is a way for not only UH, but the larger Houston community to get to know what is happening in the graduate program, Stansel said.
“We’ve had a really exciting series so far this year,” Stansel said. “It’s always great to have a lot of first and second year students up at the mic.”
The series has also featured a few graduating students, which makes for a bittersweet experience.
“You get to hear what they’ve been working on for all these years, but to each graduating student it also means it is the end of a small era,” Stansel said.
Bean and Stansel are the fiction writers while Wadlinger is the managing editor of the literary magazine as well as the sole poet who will be at the public event Friday evening.
“Everyone always loves Zack’s readings,” Stansel said. “His stories have a wonderful mix of blunt humor and well-earned pathos. Rebecca’s work manages to be slightly surreal but remains fully engaging on an emotional level, which is a difficult feat.”
Every two years, the senior staff of “Gulf Coast” brings in new members as Stansel and Wadlinger are set to move on.
Stansel will not be working with the magazine anymore as he plans to move to Ohio with his wife. The couple is expecting a daughter together this summer.
“This is exciting, but of course also a little sad,” Stansel said.
“The reading, though, feels appropriate. I get to read my work alongside Rebecca who I have worked so closely with. And with Zack, he has been a dear friend over the past five years.”
The future of “Gulf Coast” is to continue to grow in quality and readership.
The UH creative writing program continues to support the magazine along with a board of directors who offer continuity over the transitions.
Stansel said that Friday night’s reading will be more than an enjoyable time.
“I’m proud to be sharing the mic with these two.”