Bathanti, NC Poet Laureate, Entertains Blowing Rock at BRAHM

Bathanti, NC Poet Laureate, Entertains Blowing Rock at BRAHM

By David Rogers. September 18, 2014. BLOWING ROCKASC_1608, 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.

ASC_1602“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.

About The Author

As Editor and Publisher of Blowing Rock News, David Rogers has chosen a second professional career instead of retirement. For more than 35 years, he served in the financial services industry, principally in institutional equity research. He grew up in the oilfields north of Bakersfield, California and was a high school English major and honors student. From an economically disadvantaged family background, he worked his way through college (on grounds crew and in dining hall, as well as advertising sales for college newspapers), attending Johnston College at the University of Redlands, Claremont McKenna College, and California State University, Bakersfield. Other jobs to pay for college included a Teamsters Union job in South Central Los Angeles, a roustabout in the central California oilfields, and moving sprinkler pipe and hoeing weeds in the cotton fields west of Bakersfield. Rogers' financial services industry career took him from Bakersfield to La Jolla and San Diego, then to Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Newport Beach and Charlotte before arriving in the High Country in 2000 to take a volunteer position coaching the rugby team at Appalachian State University and write independent stock market research. He spent three years as a senior financial writer for a global financial PR firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Tel Aviv, and Frankfort (Germany). Rogers is the author of "The 90% Solution: Higher Returns, Less Risk" (2006, John Wiley & Co., New York). He is married to wife Kim (Jenkins Realtors), and shares in the joy provided by her three grown children and five grandchildren.

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