White grew up in a literary household in Pender Harbour, British Columbia, where his parents Howard and Mary White operated Harbour Publishing, one of British Columbia's major book publishers. White worked at Harbour Publishing during his youth and co-authored Local Heroes, a history of the Western Hockey League while still in high school but did not at first show any interest in pursuing publishing or writing as a career. He attended the University of British Columbia on a President's Scholarship, receiving a BA in 1999 and moved to Toronto, where he pursued his interest in alternative rock music, writing songs and performing in bars around the city.
In the early 2000s he took over the historic Canadian literary press, Nightwood Editions Ltd. (formerly blewointment, founded by bill bissett), and began publishing poetry and fiction by young Canadian writers such as Elizabeth Bachinsky, Tim Bowling, Rita Wong, Philip Kevin Paul, Gillian Wigmore, George Murray, Alayna Munce, Ray Hsu, and Rob Winger. Under his leadership Nightwood Editions became the flagship press for the generation of literary writers who emerged in Canada during the 2000s.
White has also pursued an independent career as editor and author, serving as contributing editor of the Encyclopedia of British Columbia and editing both prose and poetry for other Canadian publishers, including Raincoast Books, ECW Press, Harbour Publishing and Saturday Night Magazine. One of his editing jobs, The Fly in Autumn by David Zieroth, won the 2010 Governor General's Award for Poetry, Canada's highest literary honour.
White lives in Gibsons, British Columbia with his wife Amanda Amaral, a social worker, and their daughters Simone (b. 2007) and Eloise (b. 2010). A community activist since his teens, in 2005 White was elected to the Board of Education at School District 46 Sunshine Coast. In 2007 he was selected by his colleagues as board chair, the youngest person to hold that post in British Columbia. He is also a Director of the British Columbia Public School Employers' Association. In 2011 he received a master's degree in public administration from the University of Victoria.
- Moore, John (2006). "Award Winners Follow B.C. Publisher White", The Vancouver Sun, February 18, 2006.
- Hanson, Cheri and Weiler, Derek (2009) "12 to Watch", Quill & Quire, March, 2009.
- 1993: Local Heroes: A History of the Western Hockey League (Harbour Publishing) ISBN 978-1-55017-080-1
- 1999: The Encyclopedia of British Columbia (Harbour Publishing) ISBN 978-1-55017-200-3