Sonnets of the Cross by Joseph Bathanti
Available from the publisher
A hand-bound, limited edition chapbook, signed and numbered by NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti. Original pen and ink art works by Tasmanian artist and poet Ron Moss, created exclusively for this project.
The Sonnets of the Cross are based on the fourteen Stations of the Cross that commemorate the final hours of Jesus’s life, beginning with His sentence of death and culminating with His removal from the cross.
The spirituality embodied in these sonnets is unconventional, iconoclastic. Most of the poems are set in Pittsburgh and North Carolina, and contemporized among the working class and disenfranchised. Their Christ is a brilliant laborer with a blazing social conscience and abiding love who is wrongly convicted of a crime, then executed despite His innocence.
Joseph Bathanti was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He came to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. Bathanti is the author of four books of poetry: Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; and This Metal, which was nominated for The National Book Award. His first novel, East Liberty, winner of the Carolina Novel Award, was published in 2001. His latest novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, his book of nonfiction, was published in early 2007. Most recently, his collection of short stories, The High Heart, winner of the 2006 Spokane Prize, was published by Eastern Washington University Press in 2007. He is the recipient of a Literature Fellowship from the North Carolina Arts Council; The Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, presented annually for outstanding contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina over an extended period; the Linda Flowers Prize; the Sherwood Anderson Award, the 2007 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize; and others. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. On August 30, 2012, Joseph was named Poet Laureate of North Carolina.