HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 15, 2015 – High Point University will host Joseph Bathanti, North Carolina’s Poet Laureate from 2012 to 2014, as part of the Phoenix Reading Series. His presentation will be held at 7 p.m. on Oct. 29 in the Ballroom at Plato S. Wilson School of Commerce. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.
Bathanti will be speaking about “Communities of Mercy,” a lecture drawn from his own experiences as a teacher and writer who works with both university and non-traditional students, such as prisoners, veterans and others. His presentation will also explore the role of poetry in and for the community.
“This year, HPU’s Community Enrichment Series focuses on examining how communities are defined and formed,” says Dr. Charmaine Cadeau, assistant professor of English, who organized the event. “Bathanti will draw from his vast experiences of writing alongside diverse communities in North Carolina, reaching back to 1976 when he first came here as a VISTA. His teaching work and poetry demonstrate the impact of poetry in shaping lives.”
Bathanti is the former chair of the N.C. Writers’ Network Prison project. Currently, he is a professor of creative writing, director of the Writing in the Field program and writer-in-residence in the Watauga Global Community at Appalachian State University. He is the author of several books of poetry, two novels, short fiction and nonfiction. His writing has earned him several distinctions, including the Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, the Linda Flowers Literary Award, the Sherwood Anderson Award and the Mary Frances Hobson Prize.
The Phoenix Reading Series and Festival brings a diverse array of writers and thinkers to the HPU campus each year. It is sponsored in part by an HPU Cultural Enrichment Grant.