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Poet laureate, flutist check into library

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Article Published: Oct. 31, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 4, 2013
Poet laureate, flutist check into library

Joseph Bathanti

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On Saturday, Nov. 3, at 3 p.m., N.C. Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti and flutist Akal Dev Sharonne will present a program, entitled “Readings, Flutings and Musings.”

Bathanti will present readings with improvised flute music. Sharonne will also offer composed music for solo flute, along with original readings. The two artists will reminisce about their time together in the N.C. Visiting Artist Program.

In addition to serving as North Carolina’s poet laureate, Bathanti is the author of eight books of poetry: “Communion Partners,” “Anson County,” “The Feast of All Saints,” “This Metal” (nominated for the National Book Award), “Land of Amnesia,” “Restoring Sacred Art” (winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize), “Sonnets of the Cross” and a new collection, “Concertina.”

His novel, “East Liberty,” won the 2001 Carolina Novel Award. His latest novel, “Coventry,” won the 2006 Novello Literary Award. His book of stories, “The High Heart,” won the 2006 Spokane Prize. His new novel, “The Life of the World to Come,” is forthcoming in 2014 from University of South Carolina Press. His collection of personal essays, “Half of What I Say Is Meaningless,” winner of the 2012 Will D. Campbell Award for Creative Nonfiction, is also forthcoming.

In addition to his myriad literary accolades, Bathanti was also named the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet for the Western Region for the North Carolina Poetry Society for 2011-12. He is currently a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University.

Flutist Sharonne enjoys a career that has taken her to such unique and diverse places as the Caribbean islands of St. Croix and St. John, a remote ninth-century village in the south of France and Dachau, the Holocaust memorial in Germany.

As the winner of The New England Conservatory “Night at Pops” competition, she was a soloist with the Boston Pops in Symphony Hall, Boston. She has also presented solo and chamber music recitals in Boston’s famed Jordan Hall, Carnegie Recital Hall in New York and on many college campuses.
She served for three years in North Carolina’s prestigious Visiting Artist Program, bringing her art to many underserved and disadvantaged audiences, including jails, literacy programs, nursing homes and thousands of school children.

She is also a certified Healing Touch practitioner, and her forthcoming CD, “Out of the Ashes,” celebrates the healing power of music.

Sharonne is the artistic director of The Pioneer Valley Chamber Players, an eclectic chamber ensemble that performs in Massachusetts in the summer months. She also directs the newly-formed chamber music ensemble, A Musical Feast. She currently resides in Watauga County.

The performance is open to the public free of charge. A reception will follow. For more information, call the library at (828) 264-8784. The Watauga Public Library is located at 140 Queen St. in downtown Boone.

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Joseph Bathanti
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Akal Dev Sharonne
Photo submitted

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