Brock Adams’ “Gulf” Published by Pocol Press

May 10, 2010 at 11:06 am

University of South Carolina Upstate English Instructor Brock Adams grew up in Panama City, Fla., a beach town on the Gulf of Mexico. Many of the stories in his first book, Gulf, published in April by Pocol Press, take readers to those sun streaked beaches of the Florida panhandle, complete with characters who smell of shrimp, salt air, sunscreen and seaweed, with the green waters and brown waves of the Gulf ever present in the background.

“The short story collection Gulf refers not only to the physical meaning of the word –several of the stories take place on or near the Gulf of Mexico — but also to the metaphysical meaning, focusing on the human ability or lack thereof to bridge psychological gulfs, and to find emotional healing,” says Adams.

Three major currents run through the lives of the characters in Gulf’s 16 short stories, says Adams. These are difficulties in relationships, struggles with identity, and a sense of being haunted by the unexplained.

Relationships between estranged couples, the living and the dead, between people and the elements of nature, and an examination of how disparate lives intersect, play out in Adams’ stories. Many of the stories have a dark foreboding element — with danger that lurks beneath the surface of the water, in a box filled with love notes, in the faceless interplay between order-taker and drive thru customer, in the silences that exist between people, in the gulf that divides relationships.

There is also a touch of fantasy in some of the stories – a departure from realism that one reviewer says “enliven(s) mundane situations and make(s) fantastic ones entirely believable.” Haints, spooks, ghosts, voices in the wind and web-footed Jetty-Men become real, with as much weight and presence as any of Adams’ characters.

Gulf is available for purchase at Contact Brock Adams, instructor of English in the Department of Literature, Languages and Composition at the University of South Carolina Upstate, for further information at or (864)503-5384.