By David Rogers. September 18, 2014. BLOWING ROCK, NC — Words rattle off the lips of North Carolina Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti with a hint of judgmental sarcasm — but in such an endearing, entertaining, and profoundly honest manner.
Photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
A little more than two dozen guests of Blowing Rock Art & History Museum were blessed to hear the professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University read from his most recent book, “Half of What I Say is Meaningless.” It was the September edition of BRAHM’s Third Thursday lecture series, and a real treat for those attending.
“Half of What I Say….” is a series of memoir-type essays, with subjects ranging from the author’s early life in hometown Pittsburgh, the journey that took him South, how he met his wife, and much, much more. Listening to him read, at times he seems to lecture society for its proclivities toward historical racism and “class,” but it is always an elevated conversation with his reader, sometimes wry and funny but always very human.
Hearing in the author’s own voice the finely crafted prose from his essays that frequently waxed poetic was a treat unto itself, but some of the best moments of the afternoon session came after the readings, when he extemporaneously fielded questions about not only different parts of the book, but about the art of writing itself.
BRAHM’s next Third Thursday lecture is on October 16th and features Dr. Peter White of the North Carolina Botanical Garden.