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Author Ron Rash Recipient of North Carolina’s Highest Civilian Honor

From the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources; Ron Rash is on the faculty of Western Carolina University and a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers….

RALEIGH – A group of distinguished North Carolinians will receive the North Carolina Award, the highest civilian honor the state bestows, at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, at the N. C. Museum of History.  Honorees this year are Charles E. Hamner, Jr., of Chapel Hill and H. Martin Lancaster, of Raleigh, both for Public Service; Trudy F.C. Mackay, of Raleigh, for Science; Ron Rash, of Cullowhee, for Literature; and Vollis Simpson, of Lucama, and Branford Marsalis, of Durham, both for Fine Arts.  The Awards are administered by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

“Each year, the North Carolina Awards are a chance for us to honor men and women who reflect the very best in imagination, exploration, creativity, and humanitarian service,” said Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle.


Literature: Ron Rash   

Ron Rash’s work shows his deep respect for mountain people, language, history, and culture.  He is the author of 14 books, which range from novels to collections of short stories to volumes of poetry.   The holder of the John Parris Chair in Appalachian Studies at Western Carolina University, Rash has reaped a harvest of prizes, among them the Novello Festival Novel Award, the O. Henry Award, the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, and the Frank O’Connor Award.  In 2004 his life and work was the focus of the annual literary festival at Emory and Henry College, and in 2011 he was inducted into the Fellowship of Southern Writers.


Created by the General Assembly in 1961, the North Carolina Awards have been presented annually since 1964.  The award recognizes significant contributions to the state and nation in the fields of fine arts, literature, public service and science.  For additional information on the North Carolina Awards call (919) 807-7389 or (919) 807-7256.

An awards committee chaired by Jack Cozort of Raleigh selected recipients from nominations submitted by the public.  Other committee members are Selma Fox of Charlotte, Charles Sanders of Durham, Marsha White Warren of Chapel Hill, and Pamela Myers of Asheville.  Past recipients include William Friday, Romare Bearden, James Taylor, Gertrude Elion, John Hope Franklin, David Brinkley, Maya Angelou, and Billy Graham.  For a complete list of recipients and more about the awards, go to

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state supported symphony orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives.

The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources serves as a champion for North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy.  To learn more visit