My name is Bill Kane, a member of the Words Awake Planning Committee, and
it’s my honor to introduce the next speaker/reader.
But you can’t introduce Joseph Bathanti without using the word “confluence.”
If you come from where Professor Bathanti (and I) come from (Pittsburgh), you
hear the word “confluence” a lot – the confluence of rivers (the mighty
Monongahela and Alleghany), the confluence of iron and carbon (to form steel),
the confluence of shiny and dirty, rich and poor, young and old, parents and
grandparents, and so on.
It occurs to me that Joseph Bathanti, himself, is the walking/talking
manifestation of such confluence – you’re about to behold the very confluence
of Pittsburgh and North Carolina, of incredible talent and hard work, of teaching
and learning, of reading and writing.
Joseph Bathanti is a proud graduate of Pittsburgh’s Central Catholic High, and
professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University. He has published
novels, essays, nonfiction, and poetry collections. He served as the Poet Laureate
for North Carolina from 2012 to 2014. His latest novel THE LIFE OF THE
WORLD TO COME, from which he’s reading today, will knock you out.
It is a high point in my professional career at Wake Forest to welcome the great
Joesph Bathanti to Words Awake!