Join Hub City Bookshop in welcoming Ross White, director of Bull City Press, in celebration of his debut book of poetry! White will be in conversation with Scott Gould. You don't want to miss this chat about baseball, art, and mortality, so meet us at the bookshop!
Ah, yes, the simple pleasures of a junk drawer, the small gods and tender votives they contain. Each tiny nuisance of our history, each fascinating button, leaking pen, soy sauce packet, screw driver. “True son to both Wallace Stevens and Frank O’Hara,” Ross White’s debut Charm Offensive reveals to readers his junk drawer, his smitten seconds, laments, and casual, witty uncertainty on the afterlife.
Opening with a cardiogram–White’s humiliation of his “white belly” and the jokes he shares with his wife over his aging body–and ending with a psychic’s prediction that his life will end at 52 (heart troubles) – White scours time, tenderness, and the mighty (godly) pleasures of overlooked things.
A collection of travel through pasts (Michaelangelo’s David) and futures (when White, too, will be fossilized into something refreshing to future archeologists), through road rage and bumper-sticker Jesus, stillness and the two swans nearly touching in negative space that hold his racing thoughts at bay, the birds he tends back to health and his relationship between dread and satisfaction–everywhere petrified into Charm Offensive White reckons with spoil–bodies, war, the Ford-tough Savior, animal stuffing, in-flight magazines, and the afterlife as a high school in Kansas, proving his line:
“Time is always fully automatic,
measured not in units but in the space
Ross White is the director of Bull City Press, an independent publisher of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He is the author of Charm Offensive, winner of the Sexton Prize, and three chapbooks: How We Came Upon the Colony, The Polite Society, and Valley of Want. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Tin House, and The Southern Review, among others. He is Director of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-hosts The Chapbook, a podcast devoted to tiny, wonderful things. Follow him on Mastodon: @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scott Gould is the author of the memoir Things That Crash, Things That Fly, the novels, Whereabouts and The Hammerhead Chronicles, as well as the story collection, Strangers to Temptation. His new collection of stories, Idiot Men, is forthcoming from Vine Leaves Press in November. He is a multiple winner of the S.C. Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship in Prose and a recipient of the S.C. Academy of Authors Fiction Fellowship. Other honors include a 2022 Memoir Prize for Books, an Independent Press Award, an IPPY Award for Southern Fiction and the Larry Brown Short Story Award. His work has appeared in Kenyon Review, Black Warrior Review, New Madrid Journal, New Ohio Review, Crazyhorse, Pithead Chapel, BULL, Garden & Gun, New Stories from the South, and others. He lives in Sans Souci, South Carolina.