Joseph Bathanti is Poet Laureate of North Carolina. A veteran Road Scholar and Let’s Talk about It Scholar, he came to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. He is the author of six books of poetry: Communion Partners, Anson County, The Feast of All Saints, This Metal (nominated for the National Book Award), Land of Amnesia, and Restoring Sacred Art (winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize). His 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. He is the recipient of Literature Fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council in 1994 (poetry) and 2009 (fiction); the Samuel Talmadge Ragan Award, presented annually for outstanding contributions to the Fine Arts of North Carolina over an extended period; the Linda Flowers Prize; the Sherwood Anderson Award; the Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Prize; the 2011 Donald Murray Prize; the 2012 Ragan-Rubin Award; the 2013 Mary Frances Hobson Prize; and others. Named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Western Region for the North Carolina Poetry Society for 2011-12, Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing and Writer-in-Residence of Watauga Global Community at Appalachian State University.