Bathanti honored by N.C. Literary and Historical Association
Joseph R. Bathanti has received the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. Bathanti is a professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of English and co-director of the creative writing program there.
The award was presented for Bathanti’s poetry collection Restoring Sacred Art, in which Bathanti shares rich ethnic associations, religious themes and vivid memories. The collection was published by Star Cloud Press.
The award was presented Nov. 12 at the 110th annual joint meeting of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association and the Federation of North Carolina Historical Societies held in Raleigh.
Poetry was Bathanti’s first creative writing focus, although he now writes both poetry and prose.
Bathanti has published 10 books – five set in the South and five in Pittsburgh. Six of his books are poetry: “Communion Partners,” “Anson County,” “The Feast of All Saints,” “This Metal” (nominated for the National Book Award), and “Land of Amnesia.” Four of his books are prose –three fiction and one nonfiction. His first novel, “East Liberty,” won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His latest novel, “Coventry,” won the 2006 Novello Literary Award.
His book of stories, “The High Heart,” won the 2006 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. He is the recipient of Literature Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council in 1994 (poetry) and 2009 (fiction), the Sherwood Anderson Award.
“I do get targeted as a Pittsburgh writer, but I am certainly inspired by the South where I have lived most of life,” Bathanti said. “I had an intense, Catholic boyhood growing up in an immigrant neighborhood in one of Pittsburgh’s last Little Italy neighborhoods. It was intense and wonderful. I had a pretty great childhood…except for the nuns. They were pretty tough to get around.”
--written from ASU press release