Laureate Comes to Dare to Encourage Words from Veterans

Published November 17, 2013 in The Outer Banks Voice


North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti says he doesn’t go into his veterans writing workshops as a therapist.

“I go into them as a writer, although we definitely hope the fallout is therapeutic,” he notes following the two-day workshop he helped lead in Dare County this weekend that drew nearly 20 local veterans.

After being appointed poet laureate last fall, the creative writing professor at Appalachian State University vowed to travel the state to encourage veterans to put their stories on paper.

“What we did this weekend was give these veterans permission to write,” he said. “We know that we can write about trauma to help us recover. If you get it out in front of you, you have a better grip on it. What can be disorganized and chaotic in our heads can have some order and cosmos once we get in down on paper.”

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