Former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award for Literature, Joseph Bathanti, and Associate Professor of Regional Literature and Creative Writing at Marshall University, Joel Peckham, will be our guests for our nineteenth program in the Wheeling Poetry Series, November 16, 2021.
The Wheeling Poetry Series features readings by some of the finest poets from our Appalachian region and beyond. The series is organized and hosted by West Virginia Poet Laureate Marc Harshman. https://marcharshman.com
In addition to being in-person in the Library auditorium, this program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's LWB Livestream page. Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for our presenters in the comments box. They will answer them during the live broadcast.
Tuesday | November 16, 2021 at noon
LWB LIVESTREAM: Wheeling Poetry Series with Joseph Bathanti and Joel Peckham
PRESENTER BIO #1: Joseph Bathanti is the author of ten books of poetry, including This Metal, nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award, Concertina, winner of the 2014 Roanoke Chowan Prize; and The 13th Sunday after Pentecost, released by Louisiana State University 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. His book of personal essays, Half of What I Say Is Meaningless, is the winner of the 2014 Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction. His novel, The Life of the World to Come, was released from University of South Carolina Press in late 2014. Two new volumes of poems are forthcoming: Rising Meadow, in collaboration with photographer, Houck Medford, from Horse and Buggy Press (Durham, NC), in 2021; and Light at the Seam, from LSU Press, in 2022.
Bathanti is Professor of English and McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Education & Writer-in-Residence of Appalachian State University’s Watauga Residential College in Boone, NC. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville, NC, and is the co-founder of the Medical Center’s Creative Writing Program.
FEATURED BOOK: This Metal, Joseph Bathanti (St. Andrews Press, 1996)
[ Reserve this book from the Library | Purchase a copy online through bookshop.org to support local book stores or visit indiebound.org find This Metal in a bookstore near you. | Purchase online through Amazon ]
"When an avid reader of contemporary poetry discovers a book so full of warmth and eloquent exactitude, she is grateful and excited to read more by the author. This was my first experience of reading Joseph Bathanti's fourth book of poems, This Metal. I felt humbled by reading a poet whose voice was strong, but I was simultaneously dazzled by a vocabulary rich in metaphor and inflected by the language of faith and place."
—From the Introduction, by Mary Jo Bona.
“Integrity is the shield and defender of all good writing. It shines in Joseph Bathanti’s work, whatever subject he engages. This admirable book glows with it in joy and pain and tenderness. Let whatever Gods may be take note. True mettle.”
—Ronald H. Bayes, founder of St. Andrews College Press
"In his title poem, Joseph Bathanti writes that ‘Even a mincing moon off cotton will yield/light enough to walk by.’ There is something of pale moonlight in all these poems, by which I scarcely mean that they are vague. Rather, things as ordinary as field cotton are seen in a way so original as to seem magical. The author has his rhetorical reasons to call this masterful book Land of Amnesia, but in fact that author forgets nothing. …The delicious, full-throated lyricism of this volume would alone be enough to recommend it. That it grapples so bravely and brilliantly with what I must feebly call Things That Matter makes it indispensable."
— Sydney Lea, founder of The New England Review
PRESENTER BIO #2:
Joel Peckham has published nine collections of poetry and nonfiction, including, Bone Music (SFAU 2021), MUCH (Uncollected Press 2021), Body Memory (New Rivers 2017), and Resisting Elegy (Chicago Review Press). Individual poems and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, The Sugar House Review, Cave Wall, The Beloit Poetry Journal, The Sun, and many others. He is also co-editor of the anthology, Wild Gods: The Ecstatic in American Poetry and Prose (New Rivers 2021). Currently he is an Associate Professor of regional Literature and Creative Writing at Marshall University.
FEATURED BOOK: Bone Music, Joel Peckham (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2021)
[ Reserve this book from the Library | Purchase a copy online through bookshop.org to support local book stores or visit indiebound.org find Bone Music in a bookstore near you. | Purchase online through Amazon ]
"Everything once touched must carry ascar," says Joel Peckham in "Witness," one of the bone-wrenchingpoems in this brilliant collection that grips a reader by the shoulders, by thepelvis, with rapid-paced, musical writing that swims through the blood."How do you let go an emptiness, an ache," asks Peckham in "The Wreckage That We Travel In." But this is not a book only of sorrow, ofgrief, but of wisdom and recovery. "We will keep going forward until it istoo late to turn," Peckham writes in "Going Sideways." In "In Case of Emergency," he speaks of "a falling apart that might be the sound of shattering or another kind of opening that space we make and in making still might reach across." Bone Music is a survival guide, a necessary book for our time and for time to come.
—Wendy Barker, author of Gloss
"It's right that this BONE MUSIC opens with homage paid to Night in Tunisia. These poems ring and pulse with riffs Charlie Parker would've admired. And within this music there are stories that unfold with an uncanny ability to truly re-focus our hearing and seeing of the world. Even a simple fender-bender takes on dimensions of epic. What's more, Peckham provides character studies as rich as any novelist's and all with a dark beauty illuminating the poems much like the brilliant sky holds in place Munch's horrific, yet mesmerizing scream. These poems, too, will not let you go— of that I'm sure: ... 'everything once touched must carry a scar.' This is as impressive collection as I've read in years.
—Marc Harshman, author of Woman in Red Anorak, BlueLynx Prize winner, and poet laureate of West Virginia
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