From 2007-2011, I traveled with former NC Poet Laureate Joseph Bathanti to the places that inspire his poetry, novels, short stories, and essays. From the streets of Pittsburgh to the rural landscapes of North Carolina, ”BATHANTI” reveals the writer’s style, inspirations, and influences. Interviews with the author are blended with the insight and perspective of writers Michael Parker, Robert Morgan, Heather Ross Miller, Abigail DeWitt, Kay Stripling Byer, and Ron Bayes. The film utilizes location footage, photos, archival film, text, and soundtrack to interpret readings of the author's work.
"It seemed inevitable that poet, educator and author Joseph Bathanti would one day ascend to the exclusive rank of North Carolina Poet Laureate. Now, Kevin Balling's documentary shows us why he so richly deserves the role. In readings of his work, touching visits to the sites of his Pittsburgh beginnings, and exclusive interviews with longtime writers and friends, "Bathanti" gives us unique insights into one of our state's most accomplished men of letters. And Balling's skillful mix of off-the-cuff camera footage, archival photos and music makes the experience engaging from beginning to end".
David Potorti, Literature and Theatre Director, North Carolina Arts Council"