History Center’s Italian American Collection to Host Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence

Joseph Bathanti, Poet Laureate of North Carolina, will utilize the History Center’s Italian American Collection to produce an original body of work

BathantiItalianAmericanCollection

PITTSBURGH, Jan. 15, 2014 – This month, the Senator John Heinz History Center’s Italian American Collection will host Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Joseph Bathanti, as its first Scholar-in-Residence.

A Pittsburgh native and professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., Bathanti will produce an original body of work inspired by his research in the History Center’s Italian American Collection, which consists of several hundred artifacts, thousands of archival records, and more than 300 oral histories from local residents.

The author of eight poetry books, Bathanti’s first novel, “East Liberty,” won the Carolina Novel Award in 2001 and draws from his personal experiences growing up in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood.

Bathanti earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature at the University of Pittsburgh and is a mentor in the creative writing M.F.A. program at Carlow University.

History Center to Host Memoir Writing Workshop Featuring Scholar-in-Residence

Visitors will learn the art of memoir writing as part of “Where You Live: Writing about Yourself and Your Family,” a special workshop with Joseph Bathanti on Sat., Jan. 25, from 1–4 p.m. in the History Center’s Detre Library & Archives. Participants will come away with a story – a memoir – about where they and their families live and have lived.

Bathanti will discuss how memory, for better or worse, figures into personal writing. Participants are encouraged to bring to the workshop old family photographs and any other familial artifacts that generate memories.

Admission for this workshop is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Reservations are recommended. Please contact Melissa Marinaro, curator of the Italian American Program, at 412-454-6426 or memarinaro@heinzhistorycenter.org.

In addition to the memoir writing workshop at the History Center, Bathanti will host public programs at other local sites throughout January:
• Sat., Jan. 19, 1:30 p.m. – University of Pittsburgh, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave. Professor Bathanti will read selections of his writings as part of a free lecture. Presented by Societa Dante Alighieri. For more information, contact info@dantepittsburgh.com.
• Thurs., Jan. 23, 7 p.m. – La Roche College, Fisher Multi-Purpose Room, Wright Library, 9000 Babcock Blvd. Professor Bathanti will read selections of his writings as part of a free lecture. Presented by Sigma Tau Delta and the Student Activities Office. For more information, contact Professor Michelle Maher at 412-536-1219 or Michelle.Maher@LaRoche.edu.
• Fri., Jan. 31, 8 p.m. – Chatham University, Mellon Board Room, Chapel Hill Rd. Professor Bathanti will present a reading and sign books, which will be available for purchase. For more information, contact Erin Hutton at 412-365-1685 or ehutton@chatham.edu.

Several of Bathanti’s books, including the award-winning “East Liberty,” are available for purchase in the History Center Museum Shop.

For more information on the History Center’s Italian American Collection, contact Melissa Marinaro at 412-454-6426 or memarinaro@heinzhistorycenter.org.

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