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Award-winning Appalachian author Ron Rash to be at Shepherd University the week of September 26
ISSUED: 29 August 2011
Shepherdstown, WV--Award-winning Appalachian author Ron Rash will be at Shepherd University during the week of September 26 serving as the 2011 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence. Rash will be on campus to talk about his work, the writing life, and Appalachia--its environmental issues, its language, and literature. He will receive the Appalachian Heritage Writer's Award on Thursday, September 29 at Erma Ora Byrd Hall.
Born in 1953 in South Carolina, Rash spent his early years in Chester. When Rash was eight years old, the family moved back to the mountains of western North Carolina. There Rash's father began teaching at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, which Rash also attended as an undergraduate.
Paramount in Rash's work is a respect for the land, and, like many Appalachian writers, Rash tackles the thorny environmental issues that have plagued the region. Also influential on Rash was his Southern Baptist background. Rash's work is rich with religious and biblical imagery, yet it is also reflective of the pagan myth and spirituality that are part of his Celtic roots.
After graduation from Gardner-Webb, Rash attended graduate school at Clemson University, publishing his first collection of short stories in 1994, The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth. Rash has since published a number of award-winning books, including Eureka Mill (1998), Among the Believers (2000), and Raising the Dead (2002). His novels include One Foot in Eden (2002), Saints at the River (2004), The World Made Straight (2006), and Serena (2008). Rash's other story collections include Casualties (2000), Chemistry and Other Stories (2007), and his latest collection Burning Bright (2010).
The quality and depth of Rash's work have placed him into a select group of American and Appalachian writers that includes Fred Chappell, Denise Giardina, Robert Morgan, and Lee Smith. Among Rash's awards are the Sherwood Anderson Prize (1996), Appalachian Book of the Year for One Foot in Eden (2002), Southern Book Critics Circle Award for Saints at the River (2004), O. Henry Prize (2005), and a PEN/Faulkner Finalist (2009). Ron Rash currently holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University and was most recently awarded the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Prize for Burning Bright.
The following is a list of programs for the 2011 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence:
These programs are supported by the West Virginia Humanities Council, the West Virginia Center for the Book, the Shepherd University Foundation, and other community and university partners.
For information, contact Dr. Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-876-5220.
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