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For Immediate Release


Prize-winning Writer Ron Rash Appears Oct. 27


Prize-winning writer Ron Rash will conduct a public reading at CVCC 11 a.m., Wed., Oct. 27, in the college’s Multipurpose Complex.

Rash just won the world’s richest prize for the short story literary form, the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, for his recent collection, “Burning Bright.”

Rash will read from his first novel “One Foot in Eden,” published in 2002.
CVCC developmental English and reading instructors are building a “learning community” where students from their respective curriculum areas are reading and studying the novel. More than 800 CVCC students are reading the book.
Kay Gregory, head of CVCC’s Developmental English and Reading Department, says that large numbers of students reading the same book builds excitement for learning that extends beyond the classroom. For an hour before Rash’s presentation, creative student projects will be on display in the lobby of the Multipurpose Complex.   

Recipient of the O. Henry Prize, Rash holds the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University and is the author of three novels, three short-story collections and three books of poetry.

In 1994, Rash was awarded an NEA Poetry Fellowship, and he won the Sherwood Anderson Prize in 1996. In 2001, he won the Novella Festival Novel Award, and in 2002 the Foreword Magazine’s Gold Medal in Literary Fiction for “One Foot in Eden.” The novel was also named Appalachian Book of the Year.

His second novel, “Saints at the River,” was named Fiction Book of the Year by both the Southern Book Critics Circle and the Southeastern Booksellers Association. In 2005 Rash won an O. Henry award for his story, Speckled Trout, which appeared in the collection “Chemistry and Other Stories,” and received the James Still Award by the Fellowship of Southern Writers.
In 2006, he received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for “The World Made Straight,” his third novel.  His most recent novel, “Serena,” was a New York Times bestseller and PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist.

Rash’s family has lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the mid-1700’s, and it is this region that is the primary focus of his writing. Rash grew up in Boiling Springs, N.C., and graduated from Gardner-Webb College and Clemson University.

The Oct. 27 reading is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kay Gregory, 828-327-7000, ext. 4107, or
For more information about the Frank O’Connor Short Fiction Award, see:

2550 US HIGHWAY 70 SE • HICKORY, NC • 28602-8302 • 828.327.7000
Updated 10.30.2008: Administrator