Alumnus Ron Rash Receives Prestigious Grant

Poet, novelist, and Gardner-Webb University alumnus Ron Rash has been named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017. Guggenheim Fellowships are awarded to selected individuals with the purpose of providing recipients the opportunity to work with as much creative freedom as possible. Recipients receive grants of $50,000 to support their work.

A product of the GWU Department of English Language and Literature, Rash has had numerous novels, short stories, and collections of poetry selected for various awards. He was a winner of the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ James Still Award and a former finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. His short story collection "Burning Bright" won him the Frank O’Conner Short Story Award, the world’s richest prize for the short story form. His novel, "Serena," received rave reviews in the New York Times and was adapted into a motion picture starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in 2014. His latest novel, "The Risen," was released last September.

Rash, a native of Boiling Springs, N.C., was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Gardner-Webb University in 2009. He received a B.A. in English from GWU, and a M.A. in English from Clemson University in South Carolina. Rash currently serves as Parris Distinguished professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies, at Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, N.C.) where he teaches creative writing and Appalachian literature.

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