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North Carolina's Poet Laureate

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Joseph Bathanti was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He even went to college and graduate school there. So it's a testament to his passion for North Carolina that he was just announced as the Tar Heel state's newest poet laureate. Bathanti came to North Carolina in the late 1970s to be a VISTA volunteer. He fell in love with our landscape, food and culture. And now, many collections of poems later, he is a professor of creative writing at Appalachian State University and, for the next two years, our literary ambassador. Joseph Bathanti joins host Frank Stasio in the studio today to explain what that means.

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.