Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti pens poem to celebrate Veterans DayPublished 10:00am Friday, November 9, 2012
In September when award winning poet, professor and advocate for literacy, Joseph Bathanti, took the post as North Carolina’s seventh poet laureate, following local poet Cathy Smith Bowers.
Soon after taking the post, Bahanti announced plans to work with veterans to share their stories of military service — including combat zones — through poetry.
To celebrate Veterans Day on Sunday, Nov. 11, Bathanti has written a poem for veterans, families of veterans and for all of us who honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice.
The poem is entitled Saint Francis’s Satyr Butterfly and celebrates the miraculous metamorphosis of the Saint Francis’s Satyr, a rare endangered butterfly only found in the United States at Fort Bragg, one of the largest Army bases in the country. Note: Saint Francis’s Satyr, a rare, endangered butterfly, exists exclusively in a 10×10 kilometer, high artillery impact zone within the confines of Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.
“North Carolina, arguably the heart of the U.S. military establishment, is overflowing with unforgettable stories of veterans and their families, and across the state there are various initiatives dedicated to bringing these accounts to the surface,” Bathanti said.
Bathanti is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University where he is also director of writing in the field and writer-in-residence in the university’s Watauga Global Community. He has taught writing workshops in prisons for more than three decades and is former chair of the N.C. Writers’ Network Prison project. To learn more about the poet laureate program visit www.ncarts.org/poet_laureate.
– article submitted by Rebecca Moore, North Carolina Arts Council