Ron Rash to be featured in Oct. 12 reading, book signing at Blue Ridge Hall

Western Carolina University faculty member and award-winning author Ron Rash will open a new speaker series at WCU with a reading and book signing Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Rash will be the featured guest for the Medallion Speaker Series of WCU’s Honors College. Free and open to the public, the inaugural event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the multipurpose room of Blue Ridge Hall.

The evening’s activities will include presentation of the Honors College Medallion Award to Rash, and the author will respond to questions posed by Honors College freshmen, who have been reading his 2008 best-seller “Serena.”

Rash recently returned from a trip to Ireland, where he received one of the world’s top literary prizes, the Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, for his collection of short stories “Burning Bright.” Another honor that has recently come Rash’s way is the inclusion of his short story, “The Ascent,” in the soon-to-be-released 2010 edition of “Best American Short Stories,” the nation’s oldest and best-selling short story anthology.

Rash also has been honored closer to home, as his alma mater, Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, presented the Ron Rash Festival on Oct. 1-2. Events included a literary conference, honorary dinner, a reading and book signing, and a 5-K race in recognition of the author’s track career at the university.

Rash is the author of eight books of fiction and three books of poetry. He teaches Appalachian literature and creative writing at WCU in his position of Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Culture.

For more information about the Oct. 12 event, contact the WCU Honors College at 828-227-7383.