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“R” is for Rash, Ron (b. 1953)

South Carolina A to Z
SC Public Radio

“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.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.