Joseph Bathanti is Poet Laureate of North Carolina. A veteran Road Scholar and Let’s Talk about It Scholar. He is the author of six books of poetry: Communion Partners, Anson County, The Feast of All Saints, This Metal (nominated for the National Book Award), Land of Amnesia, and Restoring Sacred Art (winner of the 2010 Roanoke Chowan Prize). 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. Bathanti is Professor of Creative Writing and Writer-in-Residence of Watauga Global Community at Appalachian State University.
Emily Colin holds a BA in Psychology, with a second major in Literature/Media Studies, from Duke University. A 2001-2003 William C. Friday Human Relations Fellow, Emily’s background includes many years as a classical violinist, as well as writing and editing for regional publications. She served as Editor-in-Chief of Coastal Carolina Press. The Memory Thief is her first novel.
Last summer, a Wilmington magazine likened Kevin Duffus to a mixture of Indiana Jones, Dirk Pitt and Ben Gates. But really he’s just an inquisitive guy and a former world traveling TV producer-turned-maverick-author, historian, researcher, and solver of historical mysteries. With his unique entrepreneurial approach to historical scholarship, he solved in 2002 what was called “the greatest mystery of American lighthouse history” and found the 6,000-lb. Cape Hatteras Fresnel lens missing since the Civil War (you can see it now at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum at Hatteras). His first book, The Lost Light—A Civil War Mystery, follows the incredible odyssey of the lens, and recounts the fate of other southern lighthouses during the war. Last year he published War Zone, the definitive book about German U-boats and the 1,700 people who perished off the North Carolina coast during World War II. Kevin is also the author of Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks—An Illustrated Guide, featuring hundreds of historic photos and GPS coordinates to dozens of accessible shipwreck sites on Outer Banks beaches. And since 2008, he’s become Black Beard the pirate’s most truthful biographer and publicist after writing The Last Days of Black Beard the Pirate. Along the way, he rescued the skeleton of one of Black Beard’s crew members long held captive in a cardboard box which led to the pirate being buried last October at the church he helped to build in Bath, NC. Kevin has even found Black Beard’s mythical buried treasure. In July, the North Carolina Humanities Council announced that Kevin will be the recipient the 2013 Harlan Joel Gradin Award for Excellence in the Public Humanities.
Professor Elliot Engel is considered the most insightful, personable, and entertaining academic keynote speaker to come out of academia in the last fifty years. His witty, engaging speaking style imparts hard, factual information, leaving his audiences virtually spellbound, yet charmed by periods of laughter and flashes of insight. Using anecdotes, analysis, and large doses of humor, he gives new insights into the backgrounds, accomplishments, and lives of the great masters of English and American literature. Published in both Great Britain and the US, Engel is the author of seven books including, A Dab of Dickens & A Touch of Twain: Literary Lives from Shakespeare’s Old England to Frost’s New England. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines, including Newsweek. As one of the most sought after and beloved speakers on literature, his mini-lecture series on his favorite literary hero, Charles Dickens, appeared on PBS stations nationwide.
Georgann Eubanks, a festival favorite, will be returning to give us an update on her Literary Trails series and to also conduct her popular writer’s workshop along with Donna Campbell, this year on the subject of The Art of the Interview. Georgann has published stories, poems, reviews and profiles in magazines and journals including The Washington Monthly, Oxford American and Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. She is Director of the Table Rock Writers Workshop.
Amy Greene was born and raised in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, where she lives with her husband and two children. Her debut novel Bloodroot was published by Alfred A. Knopf January 12, 2010. Her second novel, Long Man, is forthcoming also from Knopf.
DG Martin has hosted North Carolina Bookwatch since 1989. He is a Yale Law School graduate and has been involved with public service including the Carolinas Director of the Trust for Public Land. DG will moderate our panel discussion at the On the Same Plate Luncheon in addition to other festival appearances. Check out this trailer on the new Bookwatch season which starts soon!https://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=839704224155
Karen Musgrave, author of Quilts in the Attic, states that “more than 20 years ago, a friend suggested that I write a mission statement. Of course, my first draft was more like a novel. I took an entire year editing it to get to the essence, the smallest number of words. Eventually I got it down to three- dwell in possibility.”
Janet Pittard & Stephen Shoemaker
North Carolina writer Janet Pittard has teamed up with Ashe County artist Stephen Shoemaker to present a selection of Shoemaker’s paintings and drawings and the stories behind them. Their book, Stephen Shoemaker, The Paintings and Their Stories, was published in February 2013 by McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers in Jefferson, N.C. Pittard is a freelance writer, with over 100 stories published in Our State and Signature magazines from 2003 to 2009, including many inspired by people and places in her second home of Ashe County. She also wrote for several episodes of UNC-TV’s Our State program. Pittard began her writing career after retiring from state government in 2002. Shoemaker has been a full time artist since 1983, concentrating on dry brush landscapes and the train called the Virginia Creeper, which once ran between Todd, NC and Abingdon, VA. He sells original work and limited edition prints in his West Jefferson studio and has work in Germany, Russia, Japan, and Australia, as well as the U.S.