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Poetry, Writing, Trauma, & Healing

Joseph Bathanti
March 8th, 2017
12:00 PM


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Noon - 1:00 pm

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chemistry Building Room 011)

Lunch provided beginning at 11:45

Free and open to the public

Join us for a discussion with novelist, memoirist  and former poet laureate of North Carolina, Professor Joseph Bathanti in a conversation led by Duke University Professor Raymond Barfield. They'll explore the intertwining of writing with human experiences of suffering, joy, trauma, and healing. In addition to his award-winning writing, Professor Bathanti has followed a call to service by teaching writing and literature to correctional facility inmates and, more recently, conducting writing workshops with military veterans. In September 2016, he was awarded the North Carolina Award for Literature.

Learn more about Joseph Bathanti:

"Interview with Featured Poet: Joseph Bathanti". Town Creek Poetry (Spring 2011).

"Joseph Bathanti: Writing as a Sacred Office". Faith & Leadership (October 22, 2012).

"They Are Everywhere". Our State (November 3, 2013).

"Writings From Wartime Help Healing". Citizen-Times (February 26, 2016).

Read selections of his wriing in The Sun Magazine.

Also - on Monday, March 7, Joseph Bathanti will be at The Regulator Bookshop, 720 Ninth Street, Durham, reading from his most recent book of poems, The 13th Sunday After Pentecost. The reading begins at 7 pm.


Joseph Bathanti

Appalachian State University

Joseph Bathanti is former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award for Literature. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Communion Partners; Anson County; The Feast of All Saints; This Metal, nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award; Land of Amnesia; Restoring Sacred Art, winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize, awarded annually by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association for best book of poetry in a given year; Sonnets of the Cross; Concertina, winner of the 2014 Roanoke Chowan Prize; and The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, released by LSU Press in 2016. His novel, East Liberty, won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His novel, Coventry, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. His book of stories, The High Heart, won the 2006 Spokane Prize. They Changed the State: The Legacy of North Carolina’s Visiting Artists, 1971-1995, his book of nonfiction, was published in early 2007. His recent book of personal essays, Half of What I Say Is Meaningless, winner of the Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction, is from Mercer University Press. A new novel, The Life of the World to Come, was released from University of South Carolina Press in late 2014. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and the University’s Watauga Residential College Writer-in-Residence. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville, NC.

Raymond Barfield

Duke University

Ray Barfield, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Christian Philosophy, joined the faculties of Duke's Medical School and Divinity School in 2008.

Dr. Barfield came from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where his research and practice focused on improving immune therapies for childhood cancer (including bone marrow transplantation and antibody therapy), and understanding the moral aspects of decision-making in medical research involving children. At Duke he has turned much of his effort towards bridging activities in theology and medicine. On the medical side of campus he continues to practice as a pediatric oncologist, and he directs the Pediatric Quality of Life/Palliative Care program, a program that combines medical care, education, and research to benefit children with complex, chronic, or potentially life-limiting disease. In the Divinity School he develops courses and programs that address topics at the intersection of theology, medicine, and culture. He also teaches courses in Christian philosophy.

While he continues to publish research papers in oncology and palliative care, much of his current writing focuses on the impact of literature on philosophical thought, and the ways that literature and narrative open up philosophically engaging dimensions of human experience, not least the experiences of illness and suffering. He has over ninety publications in medicine, philosophy, and poetry. His books include The Ancient Quarrel Between Poetry and Philosophy (Cambridge University Press), a book-length collection of poetry called Life in the Blind Spot, and a novel called The Book of Colors.