Art & Heritage

History Center’s Italian American Collection to Host Inaugural Scholar-in-Residence

Outsideview2009 landThis month, the Senator John Heinz History Center's Italian American Collection will host Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Joseph Bathanti, as its first
Scholar-in-Residence.

 

A Pittsburgh native and professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., Bathanti will produce an original body of work inspired by his research in the History Center's Italian American Collection, which consists of several hundred artifacts, thousands of archival records, and more than 300 oral histories from local residents.

 

The author of eight poetry books, Bathanti's first novel, "East Liberty," won the Carolina Novel Award in 2001 and draws from his personal experiences growing up in Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood.

 

Bathanti earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature at the University of Pittsburgh and is a mentor in the creative writing M.F.A. program at Carlow University.

 

History Center to Host Memoir Writing Workshop Featuring Scholar-in-Residence

Visitors will learn the art of memoir writing as part of "Where You Live: Writing about Yourself and Your Family," a special workshop with Joseph Bathanti on Sat., Jan. 25, from 1–4 p.m. in the History Center's Detre Library & Archives. Participants will come away with a story - a memoir - about where they and their families live and have lived.

 

Bathanti will discuss how memory, for better or worse, figures into personal writing. Participants are encouraged to bring to the workshop old family photographs and any other familial artifacts that generate memories.

 

Admission for this workshop is $15 for members and $25 for non-members. Reservations are recommended. Please contact Melissa Marinaro, curator of the Italian American Program, at 412-454-6426 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

In addition to the memoir writing workshop at the History Center, Bathanti will host public programs at other local sites throughout January:
• Sat., Jan. 19, 1:30 p.m. – University of Pittsburgh, Cathedral of Learning, 4200 Fifth Ave. Professor Bathanti will read selections of his writings as part of a free lecture. Presented by Societa Dante Alighieri. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


• Thurs., Jan. 23, 7 p.m. – La Roche College, Fisher Multi-Purpose Room, Wright Library, 9000 Babcock Blvd. Professor Bathanti will read selections of his writings as part of a free lecture. Presented by Sigma Tau Delta and the Student Activities Office. For more information, contact Professor Michelle Maher at 412-536-1219 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


• Fri., Jan. 31, 8 p.m. – Chatham University, Mellon Board Room, Chapel Hill Rd. Professor Bathanti will present a reading and sign books, which will be available for purchase. For more information, contact Erin Hutton at 412-365-1685 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Several of Bathanti's books, including the award-winning "East Liberty," are available for purchase in the History Center Museum Shop.

 

For more information on the History Center's Italian American Collection, contact Melissa Marinaro at 412-454-6426 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Joseph Bathanti is the Poet Laureate of North Carolina. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a master of fine arts degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. Bathanti came to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. He is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., where he is also the writer-in-residence for the University's Watauga Global Community and director of Writing in the Field. Bathanti is the author of eight books of poetry and his first novel, "East Liberty," published in 2001 by Banks Channel Books, won the Carolina Novel Award. His latest novel, "Coventry," published by the Novello Festival Press, won the 2006 Novello Literary Award.

 

The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region's remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city's Strip District, and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center's museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter & Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa. in Washington County. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org

 

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