Montreat College welcomes Mr. Joseph Bathanti, the new North Carolina Poet Laureate, for a reading on Friday, November 9 at 12:30 p.m. in the Hamilton Gallery. The Montreat College Friends of the Library will host a reception to follow. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the reception. This event is free and open to the public.

Bathanti was installed as N.C. Poet Laureate in a ceremony at the North Carolina State Capitol on September 20 by Governor Bev Perdue. “Joseph Bathanti is an award-winning poet and novelist with a robust commitment to social causes. He first came to North Carolina to work in the VISTA program and has taught writing workshops in prisons for 35 years,” Perdue told Appalachian State University News. “As North Carolina’s new Poet Laureate he plans to work with veterans to share their stories through poetry — a valuable and generous project.”

A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Joseph Bathanti holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. Bathanti came to North Carolina in 1976 as a member of Volunteers in Service to American (VISTA) to work with prison inmates.  The recipient of numerous teaching awards, he is currently a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University, where he is also co-director of the Visiting Writers Series, director of Writing in the Field at Appalachian State University, and Watauga Global Community Writer-in-Residence (