Short story writer, novelist, poet, playwright, and creative nonfiction writer Joseph Bathanti will conduct a reading, discussion, and book signing, Wednesday, April 23,
5 p.m., Room 140, Cowley Hall, on the UW-L campus.
Bathanti is the author of four books of poetry, two novels, a short story collection, a play, and numerous nonfiction pieces. His most recent work, the short story collection, The High Heart, won the 2007 Spokane Prize. His collection of poetry, This Metal, was nominated for The National Book Award. He has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes in both short fiction and creative nonfiction. His novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award, and his novel, East Liberty, won the Carolina Novel Award in 2001. He won the 1997 Oscar Arnold Young Award from The North Carolina Poetry Council. His one-act play, Afomo, won The Wachovia Playwrights Prize. He has received the Sherwood Anderson Award, the Linda Flowers Prize, and the 2007 Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Bathanti moved to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. Presently, he is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
In this beautifully written and deeply moving collection of linked short stories, Joseph Bathanti gives us all the sad trappings of working-class life--the Rolling Rock beer, the Pall-Mall cigarettes, the plastic lawn chairs, the beat-up Bonnevilles and Impalas. Yet the world of The High Heart never feels depressing. It's impossible not to cheer on young Fritzy as he struggles to make sense of his eccentric parents, the ever-bickering, memorable couple known as Travis-and-Rita.
--Rita Ciresi, author of Pink Slip and Sometimes I Dream In Italian