WCU’s own Ron Rash honored in October

Author Ron Rash Photo credit: WCU Office of Public Relations

October was a busy month for author and Western Carolina University professor Ron Rash.

Rash is WCU’s advanced creative writing teacher and Cullowhee’s local celebrity. A self-described quiet man by nature, Rash has gained much notoriety since 1998 when his first work, a collection of poems entitled Eureka Mill, were published. Take a look in many English classes in Coulter and you’re bound to see the cover of his most notorious work of fiction to date, Serena, being read and analyzed in the hands of eager students.

Just in the past month, Rash was recognized in both North and South Carolina, as well as in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. Rash has been the Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Culture at WCU for 10 years among a heap of other accomplishments.

In October, Rash traveled to UNC Chapel Hill to accept the distinguished Thomas Wolfe Prize. The Thomas Wolfe prize is chosen by UNC Chapel Hill’s English department in order to recognize a contemporary author with notable bodies of work.

Rash also received the 2013 Governor’s Award in the Humanities. This award is presented by the Humanities Council of South Carolina. A South Carolina native, Rash has based a select number of his stories in South Carolina and is a graduate of Clemson University’s Master’s English program. He was recognized for defining South Carolina’s culture to the nation and to the world.

In mid-October, Rash found out from our northern neighbors that he has received the Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Banff, Alberta, Canada for his new short story collection “Nothing Gold Can Stay”. His work was chosen, among five other winners in different categories, from more than 130 other titles.

Rash has 14 works published, 10 works of fiction and four works of poetry.

Serena has been adapted into a film with Hollywood stars Bradley Cooper as Pemberton and Jennifer Lawrence as Serena. The movie is expected to be released sometime in early 2014.

The story used information from WCU Office of Public Relations.