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Congratulations to Joseph Bathanti!

We received this exciting announcement yesterday from Appalachian State University:

The North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, has selected Joseph Bathani to serve a three-year term as a council trustee.

“Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Bathanti holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. He came to North Carolina in 1976 as a VISTA Volunteer to work with prison inmates.

“The recipient of numerous teaching awards, he currently is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University, where he is also co-director of the Visiting Writers Series, director of the new Writing in the Field program at Appalachian, and Watauga Global Community writer-in-residence.

“Bathanti is the author of six books of poetry: Communion Partners, Anson County, The Feast of All Saints, This Metal, which was nominated for The National Book Award and won the 1997 Oscar Arnold Young Award from The North Carolina Poetry Council for best book of poems by a North Carolina writer, Land of Amnesia and 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.

“His first novel, East Liberty, won the Carolina Novel Award in 2001, and his latest novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. The High Heart, a collection of short stories, was awarded the Spokane Prize in 2006.

“Bathanti published They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, a work of nonfiction, in 2007. His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. He is a playwright, editor, lyricist and has served as a North Carolina Humanities Council Road Scholar and Let’s Talk About It discussion series facilitator.

“Bathanti is a two-time recipient of Literature Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council (1994 and 2009). In 1996 he received a Fellowship from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Individual Poets. Also among his many honors are the Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, the Bruno Arcudi Literature Prize, the Ernest A. Lynton Faculty Award for Professional Service and Academic Outreach, the Aniello Lauri Award for Creative Writing, the Linda Flowers Literary Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award, the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize, and the Donald Murray Prize. The North Carolina Poetry Society recently named him 2011-12 Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the
Western Region.

“Bathanti is a member of the Associated Writing Programs, the North Carolina Writers’ Network, and the N.C. Writers Conference. He has served on the boards of the North Carolina Arts Council, the Watauga Library, the Council of Authors and Journalists, the N.C. Writer-in-Teacher Project, the Bring Sam Home Advisory Committee, the Iredell County HIV/AIDS Task Force, the Iredell Arts Council, and the N.C. Poetry Society, for which he was chair of the ZoÑ‘ Kinkaid Brockman Award Committee. From 1989 to 1994, Bathanti chaired the N.C. Writers’ Network Prison project.

“The North Carolina Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The humanities council serves as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all facets of human life. To learn more about the North Carolina Humanities Council, visit”

Bathanti will lead a poetry workshop at the North Carolina Writers’ Network 2011 Fall Conference.