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N.C. English Teachers Association selects Joseph Bathanti as 2012 Ragan-Rubin Award winner

BOONE—Joseph Bathanti, distinguished poet and creative writing professor at Appalachian State University, is the recipient of the 2012 Ragan-Rubin Award presented by the N.C. English Teachers Association (NCETA). The award will be presented at the NCETA Annual Conference Sept. 28 and 29 at the UNC-Charlotte downtown campus.

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Bathanti writes about real places that trigger memories and familiar images in the minds of his readers. His latest collection, “Anson County,” speaks to Southerners as he calls up droughts, farmhouses, cows and the beautiful countryside in the county east of Charlotte. His intense sense of place and his understanding of the regular folks who inhabit such places as Anson County, Walltown, Gum Springs and Mount Zion have endeared him to readers in more than just the South.

Born and reared in Pittsburgh, Pa., Bathanti has lived in North Carolina since he came to the state as a VISTA volunteer in 1976. His poetry has won numerous awards, including the Oscar Arnold Young Award from the N.C. Poetry Council, the Roanoke Chowan Prize for the best book of poetry in a given year. His poetry, fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous journals, including Tar River Poetry, Carolina Quarterly, Texas Review and California Quarterly. He has written two novels and a play.

Since 1987, the Ragan-Rubin Award has been awarded to an outstanding North Carolina writer. The award is given in honor of Sam Ragan and Louis Rubin, who were professors at UNC Chapel Hill and who have been friends and mentors to generations of North Carolina writers, artists and teachers.

For more information, visit the NCETA website at