NC Literary Hall of Fame



BOONE—"All across the state exist dedicated, selfless folks—teachers in the main—holding on doggedly to poetry and literature," says former North Carolina poet laureate Joseph Bathanti, "folks who still believe that our stories will save us and that our children’s futures, their very humanity depends on our not losing sight of what beats so passionately in us.”

Poets who register for the North Carolina Writers' Network 2017 Squire Summer Writing Workshops will have the opportunity to spend the weekend in class with Joseph, working on their manuscripts as well as those of their peers. It's a rare chance to learn not only from a former poet laureate, but also the 2016 winner of the North Carolina Award for Literature, the state's highest civilian honor.

The conference runs July 13-16 at Appalachian State University in Boone. Registration is open through June 28.

"Writing the Longer Narrative Poem" with Joseph Bathanti will focus on writing longer poems that tell stories through utilizing classic conventions of fiction such as dialogue, plot, conflict, characterization, setting/place, etc., while still relying heavily on key elements of poetry such as compressed, often impressionistic, language; rhythm; stylized line and stanza breaks; and attention to sound. We’ll strive to balance the image-charged voltage of poetry with traditionally discursive narrative strategies of fiction and creative nonfiction, focusing on the occasion of the poem, and the dramatic situation that inspired it. Participants will be provided with examples of narrative poems aimed at triggering the narrative impulse.

Register now; each registrant should be ready to handle the intensive instruction and atmosphere of the workshop.

Joseph Bathanti is former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award for Literature. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; This Metal, nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award; Land of Amnesia; Restoring Sacred Art, winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize, awarded annually by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association for best book of poetry in a given year; Sonnets of the Cross; Concertina, winner of the 2014 Roanoke Chowan Prize; and The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, released by LSU Press in 2016. His novel, East Liberty, won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. His book of stories, The High Heart, won the 2006 Spokane Prize. They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, his book of nonfiction, was published in early 2007. His recent book of personal essays, Half of What I Say Is Meaningless, winner of the Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction, is from Mercer University Press. A new novel, The Life of the World to Come, was released from University of South Carolina Press in late 2014. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, and the University’s Watauga Residential College Writer-in-Residence. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville.

Upon winning the NC Award for Literature, Joseph said, "this distinction means everything, since at its heart is the dazzling and varied literary community comprised of every single writer across the state."

And he's taught—and blurbed books for—plenty.

A quick scroll through Joseph's page on shows what intense loyalty his students feel toward the man and the teacher; how influential he's been in the writing lives of his students; and the way he knows to be demanding enough to draw out a writer's best work. These are the talents of a gifted, experienced teacher.

Don't miss out on this chance to learn from one of our best living poets: register now for the Squire Summer Writing Residency.

The Squire Summer Writing Workshops offer conferencegoers the chance to study elements of one genre with one instructor over the course of the program. Attendees will work on their own manuscripts, as well as those of their peers, while also attending readings, special presentations, and taking advantage of built-in writing time, in a town TripAdvisor named the number two “diamond in the rough” for vacation destinations.

Sheryl Monks will lead the fiction course, "How Bad Things Happen to Good Characters: Compression, Tension, and Catharsis in Fiction." Eric G. Wilson will lead the class in creative nonfiction, “Creating Presence: Voice in Creative Nonfiction.”

Registration is capped at forty-two registrants, first-come, first-served. Register now.


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