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How We Came Upon the Colony by Ross White

Unicorn Press
$10, paperback / $18, hardcover
ISBN: 0-87775-932-4
October, 2014
Poetry
Available from the publisher

“This is one of the most substantial chapbooks I’ve ever read. In only seventeen poems, Ross White guides his readers to a colony of the imagination—a world of vivid and coolly unsettling words—that is timeless yet contemporary, specific in detail yet mysterious in design, paradisiacal yet troubled. He is a poet of great intelligence and wit and precision, and he commands an impressive range of forms and modes while sustaining a lucid unity of tone and voice. How We Came Upon the Colony is a powerful, darkly funny, refreshingly un-self-centered, humane, and deeply satisfying work from one of our very best young writers and editors.”
—Michael McFee, author of That Was Oasis and The Smallest Talk

How We Came Upon the Colony asks just what histories rest in the background. It further interrogates the hierarchies of those histories. In reading this book we are travelers moving through eras and between various sites of cultural confrontation, from Rome to the Caribbean to the public schools of North Carolina where we are met with commentary from the Patron Saint of Teachers and Singers to the Colonial Governor of the Bahamas. White is a writer who doesn’t just value his own story, but can connect the personal to the collective in a way that illuminates both. Noting, ‘What care we take not to disturb the albatross,’ White then goes on to ruffle the antique feathers of a bird that in our narratives takes on the sojourner’s longings and woes like a sin eater. If this book is any indication, we can expect White to continue to write poems that soothe and rile and ultimately provide us with a numinous experience. How curious that in maturity the albatross is compelled to return to its colony of origin. White in this compassionate and compelling premiere looks bravely back to draw us forward.”
—Vievee Francis, author of Horse in the Dark and Blue-Tail Fly

Ross White’s poems have appeared in Best New Poets 2012, New England Review, Poetry Daily, and The Southern Review, among others. With Matthew Olzmann, he edited Another & Another: An Anthology from the Grind Daily Writing Series (Bull City Press, 2012). He is a graduate of the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers and has received scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. He teaches creative writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

 
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