Dec. 11, 2012: North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti visited Wilkesboro Elementary School to share his poetry to a group of eager young students. Mr. Bathanti spent over 30 minutes reading aloud his poetry to a group of excited, yet attentive students. As he continually moved in front of and among the students, Mr. Bathanti’s facial expressions and various voice inflections kept all eyes on him.
Award winning poet, professor and advocate for literacy, Joseph Bathanti of Vilas, a small community in Watauga County, was named North Carolina’s Poet Laureate on Thursday, September 20, 2012, by Governor Beverly Perdue. Bathanti is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University where he is also Director of Writing in the field and Writer-in-Residence in the University’s Watauga Global Community.
In an email to Dr. Wanda Hutchinson, Associate Superintendent of Wilkes County Schools, Mr. Bathanti states, “I just wanted to write and say what a terrific time I had at Wilkesboro Elementary Schools this past Tuesday. Sandra Burchette met me at the door with an enormous smile and warm hospitality to go with it. What a wonderful principal—at a wonderful school. Her teachers and staff were welcoming and the battalion of children I ended up in front of were happy, smart, inquisitive and mighty affectionate. I left the place glowing.”
Bathanti’s books of poetry include, This Metal, Restoring Sacred Art, Land of Amnesia, The Feast of All Saints, and Communion Partners. He has published two novels, Coventry and East Liberty along with a book of short stories, The High Heart. Mr. Bethanti’s future are plans to work with veterans to share their stories through poetry.