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Bathanti receives the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry

BOONE—Former N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti was one of six North Carolina writers honored by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association during its annual meeting Nov. 7 at Tryon Palace History Education Center.

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He received the Roanoke-Chowan Award for Poetry for “Concertina,” a lyrical examination of his time as a VISTA volunteer working in prisons. He also received the Roanoke-Chowan Award in 2010.

Bathanti is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University and writer-in-residence for the university’s Watauga Residential College and director of the Writing in the Field program.

“Winning this prize is a special honor because of the slate of other books, by so many fine North Carolina poets, that were also eligible for it,” Bathanti said.

Also honored by the association was Lee Smith who received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction for “Guests on Earth,” about Zelda Fitzgerald and her death in Highland Hospital in Asheville in 1948. Smith also received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award in 1983 and 1989.

The Ragan Old North State Award for Nonfiction was presented to Sarah Thuesen of Greensboro for her work titled “Greater Than Equal: African American Struggles for Schools and Citizenship in North Carolina.”

The American Association of University Women Award for Juvenile Literature went to Joan Holub of Raleigh for “Little Red Writing,” the story of a courageous pencil who is given a writing assignment by her teacher, and is in search of a story. Holub has written or illustrated more than 130 children’s books.

The R. Hunt Parker Award for significant contributions to the literature of North Carolina was presented to Allan Gurganus of Hillsborough, author of “Oldest Confederate Widow Tells All” and five other books.

Broadway veteran Terrance Mann of Cullowhee and New York City received the Hardee Rives Award for the Dramatic Arts for “Cats” and other productions. Mann teaches drama at Western Carolina University.

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