April 5, 2014. Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina Poet Laureate, will be the speaker and the Watauga County Friends of the Library’s annual meeting on Sunday, April 13 at 2 p.m. in the library’s meeting room. Bathanti is the author of numerous books of poetry, several novels and a short story collection. He will read from his poetry and short fiction, then close his remarks by answering questions from the audience.
Joseph and his wife Joan moved to the Charlotte area in 1976 as Vista Volunteers and since that time North Carolina has been their home. In 2001, he became Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University. Always interested in social issues, Joseph has also taught writing workshops in prisons for 35 years. His signature project as our state’s Poet Laureate has been working with returning combat veterans in small group settings – teaching them, but also learning from them as they put their experiences into line and verse.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Joseph draws from his own life as he writes about family, community, and the inevitable ups and downs we all face. He says he has a particular love for the rural life and landscape, and maybe that’s why he flourishes so in Vilas.
The Watauga County Friends of the Library organization considers itself fortunate to have him as their annual meeting speaker this year. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear an extraordinary writer and humanitarian.