Memoir Writing Workshop with Joseph Bathanti
Join the Italian American Program for a memoir writing workshop, “Where You Live: Writing about Yourself and Your Family.”
During Italian Heritage Month, author, educator, and Pittsburgh native Joseph Bathanti will host a special workshop focused on writing about yourself and your family.
Participants will come away with a story about where they and their families live and have lived – not only physically, but in their memories as well.
The workshop is designed to get participants to think about specific times in their lives that in some way exemplify their identities as Italian-Americans and how their ethnicity has influenced them, especially as it pertains to living in Pittsburgh, though other locales might be involved as well. That locale could be a neighborhood or something much smaller like your grandmother’s kitchen, a street corner, schoolyard, or church – anywhere or anything that triggers memory. Even if that place has now vanished, it still exists in your memory. So, in many ways, this workshop is an exercise in memory and how it intersects with place.
This program is presented in conjunction with “The Act of Contrition & Other Stories” Reading featuring Joseph Bathanti.
Admission to the Memoir Writing Workshop is $20 for adults attending in-person, $10 for members, and $10 for virtual attendees. The program will be held in the Detre Library & Archives on the sixth floor.
About the Author
Joseph Bathanti is the former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-2014) and recipient of the 2016 North Carolina Award in Literature, the state’s highest civilian honor. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he has BA & MA degrees in English Literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. Bathanti arrived in North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prisoners in the Department of Correction and has remained active in prison outreach and education ever since.
He is the author of eleven books of poetry, including “This Metal,” nominated for the National Book Award, and winner of the Oscar Arnold Young Award; “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; Concertina, winner of the 2014 Roanoke Chowan Prize. His most recent volume, “Light at the Seam,” from Louisiana State University Press, is the winner of the 2022 Roanoke Chowan Prize.
He is also the author of five books of fiction: “East Liberty,” winner of the 2001 Carolina Novel Award; “Coventry,” winner of the 2006 Novello Literary Award; “The High Heart,” winner of the 2007 Spokane Prize for Short Fiction; and the novel, “The Life of the World to Come.”
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. A co-edited anthology, “Crossing the Rift: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 & Its Aftermath,” was released in 2021.
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, North Carolina. He also teaches in Carlow University’s low residency MFA Program in Creative Writing in Pittsburgh. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville, North Carolina and is the co-founder of the Medical Center’s Creative Writing Program.
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