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Reading: The Sum of Trifles with Julia Ridley Smith and Poet Ross White

Book signing follows.

When Julia Ridley Smith’s parents died, they left behind a virtual museum of furniture, books, art, and artifacts. Between the contents of their home, the stock from their North Carolina antiques shop, and the ephemera of two lives lived, Smith faced a monumental task. What would she do with her parents’ possessions? Smith’s wise and moving memoir, The Sum of Trifles, is a curious, thoughtful look at how we live in and with our material culture and how we face our losses as we decide what to keep and what to let go of.

Julia Ridley Smith is the author of a memoir, The Sum of Trifles (University of Georgia Press, 2021). She’s published fiction in Alaska Quarterly Review, Electric Literature, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. Her nonfiction has appeared in Ecotone, the New England Review, and Southern Cultures and was recognized as notable in The Best American Essays. She previously taught creative writing and literature at UNC Greensboro and is currently the 2021–22 Kenan Visiting Writer at UNC Chapel Hill.

Poet Ross White's Valley of Want is a song in celebration of the difficulty of naming, of seeing, of putting one’s finger on the elusive thing one feels is true. Graceful and witty, these poems are grounded in the thrilling stillness of nature and the contours of human connection through our self-performances, through our monsters, through our stories, through the language that makes us unmistakably ourselves.

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 2019 Sexton Prize, and three chapbooks: How We Came Upon the Colony, The Polite Society, and Valley of Want. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, New England Review, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, Tin House, and The Southern Review. He teaches creative writing and grammar at the UNC Chapel Hill and is the editor of Four Way Review.

Free Admission + Free Parking

Tue-Wed-Fri-Sat: 10am-5pm
Thu: 10am-8pm
Closed Sundays, Mondays + holidays

Weatherspoon Art Museum
UNC Greensboro
500 Tate Street
Greensboro, NC 27402
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