As part of a week-long poetry celebration promoted by the English Department of Richmond Community College, two poetry events are coming to the Cole Auditorium at the RCC Hamlet campus.
Tuesday April 2, at noon, the North Carolina Poet Laureate, Joseph Bathanti, will speak and share publication information.
“The poet laureate is appointed by the Governor of North Carolina in consultation with a panel of literary professionals who represent the state’s geographical, racial and literary diversity. The laureate typically serves a two-year term, renewable at the governor’s discretion and receives a $15,000 annual stipend from the N.C. Arts Council along with staff support,” according to the North Carolina Arts Council.
Bathanti was named North Carolina’s seventh poet laureate by former 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 said. “As North Carolina’s new Poet Laureate he plans to work with veterans to share their stories through poetry — a valuable and generous project.”
Bathanti, who was born in 1953 in Pittsburgh, Penn., 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. He is also former chair of the N.C. Writers’ Network Prison project and currently serves as the ambassador of North Carolina Literature, past and present.
“I can’t imagine a better place in the United States to be a writer than North Carolina,” Bathanti said. “There is no place richer in literature and no place that has celebrated writers in quite the same way as our state does.”
There will be a question and answer session after Bathanti speaks.
Thursday, April 4 at 1 p.m., there will be an open mic event also in the Cole Auditorium.
This is the third annual poetry slam-type event that promotes oral and written communication.
This event will showcase the original writings of RCC students and everything from poems to short stories will be shared.
Both of these events are free but only the April 2 event is open to the public. The open mic event is only for RCC students, faculty, staff and alumni. For more information about these events, call Althea Hunsucker at 410-1864 or visit www.richmondcc.edu.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.