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Joseph Bathanti author reading and book signing Oct. 9

BOONE—Appalachian State University faculty member and former N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti will read from and sign copies of his newest book, “Half of What I Say Is Meaningless: Essays” Oct. 9 at The Scholars Bookshop inside University Bookstore.

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Bathanti’s reading begins at 2 p.m. Copies of his book will be available for sale and signing. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Winner of the 2012 Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction for “the best manuscript that speaks to the human condition in a Southern context,” Bathanti’s latest book is a poignant and humorous collection written with the soul of a true poet.

The book opens with its longest essay, “The Turf of Hankering,” which tells the tale of Bathanti leaving Pittsburgh for his VISTA training in Atlanta, meeting a Southern woman he is destined to marry, his journey into the American South that he would come to call home, and his first attempts at becoming a writer.

Other essays touch on topics as varied as his early conflicted obsessions with Catholicism; a life-changing visit to writer Thomas Wolfe’s boyhood home in Asheville; a moving account of how he faced the possibility of being drafted to serve in the Vietnam War; the concept of work and what it means; and marriage and fatherhood.

All of Bathanti’s books are available for sale at The Scholars Bookshop at a 20 percent discount throughout October.

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