The Jackson County Public Library will host a group reading of “Crossing the Rift: North Carolina Poets on 9/11 & Its Aftermath” in the Community Room at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Edited by Joseph Bathanti and David Potorti, the poems come at 9/11 through a variety of lenses and its vast associated collateral fallout: Islamophobia, the vilification of immigrants and the undocumented, ramped-up xenophobia, nationalism and isolationism, war and supercharged military budgets with accompanying losses of community, health and hope, and concurrent rises in homophobia, transphobia, virulent racism and domestic terrorism.

The poems take head-on what Carolyn Forche calls “the poetry of witness” and its advocacy “for a shared sense of humanity and collective resistance.” Six local poets will be in attendance to share their contributions.

Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the North Carolina Award in Literature, is author of 17. Bathanti is the McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Education at Appalachian State University. 

Potorti is the co-founder of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. He served as the literature and theater director for the N.C. Arts Council.

Event attendees will be required to wear a mask per county mandate.

To reserve copies of “Crossing the Rift,” call City Lights Bookstore at 586-9499. For more information about the event call City Lights or contact the Library at 586-2016.