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Award-winning author and Appalachian professor Joseph Bathanti featured on UNC Aug. 3

06_10Bathanti02_t.jpgBOONE—Award-winning author Joseph Bathanti will be featured on UNC-TV’s “North Carolina Bookwatch” on Friday, Aug. 3, at 9:30 p.m. The episode will be rebroadcast Sunday, Aug. 5, at 5 p.m., on UNC-TV.

Bathanti is a professor of creative writing in Appalachian State University’s Department of English and co-director of the Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series.

D.G. Martin hosts the literary series which opens its 10th season with the Bathanti interview, during which Bathanti talks about his latest book, “Coventry.”

A Pittsburgh native, Bathanti came to North Carolina in 1976 as a VISTA (domestic Peace Corps) volunteer to teach in Huntersville Prison. Since then, he has continued to teach and mentor prison inmates throughout North Carolina, and he drew upon his extensive first-hand experience in writing “Coventry.”

“When I came to North Carolina, I wanted to be a writer, and was trying to look outside myself for stories. One of the really advantageous things that happened to me in the prison yard was that I was handed an extraordinary narrative simply because prison inmates live in such a dramatic setting, where extraordinary things happen by the minute with extraordinary characters—people who have committed crimes,” Bathanti said.

Bathanti is the author of four poetry collections and the novel, “East Liberty.” He has B.A. and M.A. degrees in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as an M.F.A. in creative writing from Warren Wilson College.

Bathanti has lectured and written extensively on prisons and the death penalty. He is the former chair of the N.C. Writers Network Prison Project.

For additional information about series guests and airdates, visit

Funding for “North Carolina Bookwatch” is provided by UNC-TV members and by Quail Ridge Books and Music, Raleigh’s independent, full-service bookstore, bringing readers and writers together since 1984.

“North Carolina Bookwatch” is part of UNC-TV’s ongoing commitment to produce programs for and about North Carolina. UNC-TV is the statewide, 11-station broadcast network of the University of North Carolina