“R” is for Rash, Ron (b. 1953)
“R” is for Rash, Ron (b. 1953). Poet, novelist. A native of Chester, Rash graduated from Gardner-Webb College and received an M.A. in English from Clemson. Since 2003, he has been the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University. Rash’s family has lived in the southern Appalachian Mountains since the 1700s. His fiction and poetry about the people of Appalachia and the mill towns are filled with gentle humor, family strife, and economic problems. Although the people in his work are beset by drought, floods, and layoffs, Rash focuses on their enduring and universal qualities. He tells of their everyday joys and sorrows, of their disappointed religious yearnings, of their strengths, weakness, and foibles. In addition to his poetry and novels, Ron Rash has achieved international acclaim for his short stories.