Last year, the world watched in horror as nearly five million barrels of crude oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. The spill was caused by the explosion of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon, which was drilling for BP. The company frantically tried to cap the spill in the following months. Finally, last July, workers were successful. The world’s outrage subsided, and its attention waned. Not so for Wilmington-based writer David Gessner. He went down to the Gulf of Mexico during the spill to get a first-hand account of what was happening. His experiences there are documented in a new book, “The Tarball Chronicles" (Milkweed Editions/2011). Host Frank Stasio speaks with Gessner, an associate professor of creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, about the BP oil disaster.