Ron Rash receives writing honors

I have been a fan of Ron Rash ever since I read his poem “The Exchange” a few years back…I have a few of his books and read everything of his I come across. So far  I haven’t been disappointed. So I was oleased to see this in my email notices…

Ron Rash, the Parris Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Culture at Western Carolina University, has won the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance book award in the category of fiction for his novel, “Serena.”

Rash’s “Serena” has been a critical success since its 2008 release and has catapulted the South Carolina-born author to the forefront of the literary world.(1)

It looks as if I need to add another of Mr. Rash’s works to my library.

Wikipedia has this to say about Ron Rash…

Ron Rash (born 1953), an American poet, short story writer and novelist, is the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University.  Rash was born in Chester Springs, South Carolina, in 1953, grew up in Boiling Springs, North Carolina, and is a graduate of Gardner-Webb University. In 1994 he published his first book, a collection of short stories titled The Night the New Jesus Fell to Earth. Since then, Rash has published three collections of poetry, three short story collections, and four novels, all to wide critical acclaim and several awards and honors. Rash’s poems and stories have appeared in more than 100 magazines and journals over the years. With each new book, Rash has confirmed his position as a central and significant Appalachian writer alongside well-established names like Fred Chappell, Lee Smith, and Robert Morgan.[2]

(1) via – Opinion – Authors Ron Rash, Lee Smith receive writing honors.

(2) via Ron Rash – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

See Also

Ron Rash, Iris Press

Weather – Rain and More Rain

Lazy Weekend Thoughts

Lazy Weekend Thoughts

Blue Ridge Country Magazine

One of the things I look forward to in the snail mail realm is “Blue Ridge Country Magazine“. I discovered the magazine about the same time I discovered the real thing and I have had a subscription almost since the very first issue I read. Since I started reading this mag I have stumbled across Fred First’s images on occasion, but, what keeps me reading is the writing of…

Elizabeth Hunter

Elizabeth Hunter’s column “From The Farm” in each issue is always the first thing I look for. In the years since I first discovered the magazine and subscribed I have come to appreciate her insights on mountain living and nature. Her column in this issue is part travelogue and part science/ecology lesson with a touch of Earth Day conservationism thrown in. As she takes us through Natural Bridge State Park in Kentucky she explains the “mixed mesophytic forest” ecology and it’s resemblance to the same type of forest in China. She talks of the research being done in China to try to find a way to stop the hemlock woolly adelgid, a problem facing the whole of the Appalachians.

Since her trip took her through much of Kentucky, she even gets in some thoughts on the problems of the coal companies and their mountain top removal methods of destroying a way of life and the living species that once resided there. If you haven’t had a chance to check either the magazine or Elizabeth Hunter’s writing do yourself a favor and take a look…

Some issues of the magazine contain a extra gift or two when Elizabeth has a feature article to go along with the column.

Ron Rash

I first started noticing Ron Rash whenever I run across him a few years back when Garrison featured one of his poems in his daily “Writer’s Almanac”. Since that day I have added a couple of Ron’s volumes to my library, one poetry and one novel so far. So it was with interest I read his closing comments in this months Blue Ridge Country Magazine. As a bit of autobiography it was an interesting read. The columns title, “The Mountains My Hopes“, leads directly to the closing paragraph…

My hope is that the mountains my family has called home for more than 250 years, and much more than that for the small portion of Cherokee in me, will not be destroyed by coal companies, lax environmental laws and overzealous developers, who too often seem intent on destroying the rural landscape and natural beauty that attracts people to the region in the first place. No one can expect the southern Appalachian region to remain in some changeless vacuum, but how much change and at what cost are questions the region must ask itself.

I find I share the hopes expressed by Ron Rash for the mountains he grew up in, the mountains I have come to love.

The Nation Magazine

My morning email brought me an announcement from “The Nation” magazine that they have a special Earth Day edition out. One of the feature articles is ” Adapt or Die” by Mark Hertsgaard. In it he compares the flooding in Bangladesh with what has happened in New Orleans. The comparisons are not good for this country. The final paragraph is what really hit me between the eyes…

At this point we must accept that the battle to prevent global warming is over; now, the race to survive it has begun. This race will continue for the rest of our lives, testing human ingenuity, institutions and values as never before. Losses are inevitable, but the situation is not hopeless. We know much of what needs to be done, and we have considerable resources at our disposal. There is rough weather ahead, but if we keep our heads and stick together, we may find ways of living through the storm.

Source: Adapt or Die

Fragments From Floyd

Anyone who has read this blog knows I blame Fred First for the inspiration to follow his lead and try my hand at writing on a regular basis. I am still stumbling along looking for that voice I think I have and the words I want to say. A short while ago I had one of those stream of conscience moments where you just let the words flow. What came out was a “review” or as Tom Montag likes to say “an appreciation” of Fred’s “Slow Road Home”. The reason for the introduction here is Fred had a really good post up the other day for Earth Day and I wanted to link to it…

Earth Day 2007 – How many More

I’ll be bold and assume that thirty seven years of planet-watching earns me one stand in the bully pulpit. From this one citizen’s perspective, four things must happen. Making the rubber meet the road is quite another matter, and these are complex issues we must be talking about in Floyd’s meeting places, churches, and organizations.
  1. We must take individual responsibility for being carefully conscious of our family and community “environmental footprint” and reduce it.
  2. We must insist that efficiency and conservation by industry and commerce play a much stronger role than they have thus far in CO2 abatement.
  3. We must not become complacent by thinking that our individual conservation or lifestyle changes alone will fully solve the larger problem.
  4. We must find a just way to prevent those who produce the least greenhouse gases from suffering the most.

No matter what we do in the short run, climate change impacts on humanity are likely to be large in the coming century, even here in remote Floyd County. Coping with this unprecedented degree of change will require a whole new way of thinking about our relationship with the planet and each other. Let’s renew our commitment to these goals this Earth Day, and move quickly toward an Earth Decade.


You know it’s a funny thing about the sitemeter stats. I must be saying something here on occasion that touches at least a few people. I don’t have a lot of site visits, but it appears I have a few returning visitors. Some of the locations ring a bell from the comments that have been made over the past year. Some though I have yet to meet. So here’s a great big Texas Howdy to all with thanks for your stopping by. If you really want to make my day…Tell me what it is that brings you by…

Well, I’ve spent way to much time playing this morning and the wife is giving me dirty looks so I better run.
Y’all have a great weekend, get out enjoy spring…See you all on the other side.

Wants and Desires…

I empathize with the sentiment if not the actual want…

Costal Farmlet
“A man wants nothing so badly as a gooseberry farm.”
I want a costal farmlet.
I desire it very much.
I saw it advertised
in the classifieds and I presume
that coastal means our land
comes right down
to the sea with the whitecaps
lashing romantically, and farmlet
means we can grow
gnarled trees on our headland
and let sheep roam. It is about cheap
enough for us if we borrow, beg
and steal, pawn a few poems, also write
a harlequin romance or two, and it’s
only 9000 miles from the place
we call home. There’s not much
of a hitch except the Immigration
would not let us stay in the country
to live in our farmlet. But still,
I want it and think we should go
look at it, right now, this moment,
while tangy sweet gooseberries glow.

“Costal Farmlet” by David Ray, from Music of Time: Selected and New Poems. © The Backwaters Press.

The farmlet in my wants resides on the side of a mountain not a sea and it’s blueberries not gooseberries that call me there. But, other than those discrepancies, this poem could be mine, not by the writing but by the desiring…

Source:The Writer’s Almanac for Wednesday, March 28th

Other links to David Ray:

Spring – The first full day.

“In pursuit of happiness, the difficulty lies in knowing when you have caught up.”
R.H. Grenville

I feel the need for a change of pace on this Wednesday morning.

For many years I tried to develop a habit of journaling and could never carry it through for more than a week or three. I tried morning pages from the “Artist’s Way” book, but again, I could or would only make it through a few weeks before dropping it. I have always felt a need but never strong enough to develop the necessary habits. If you look at my profile you will find that it says I have been on Blogger since April of 2001 but I’ve only had a little over 200 profile views. I guess that would make me somewhat of an old timer at blogging, but I feel like a total newby. I do not know how many different times I have tried to start a blog only to give up when the habit didn’t take hold. From the looks of this try though, I may have continued long enough to actually have set the habit.

I see that Julia Cameron has a website up for “The Artist’s Way at Work“. Looks like a new place to explore. There is also an “Artist’s Way” Community at another site.

My time this morning is growing short, so I need to hit the emails…

  • What a difference a day makes…Blue Ridge Mountain temps are back down in the low 40’s this morning
  • There seems to be an upside for the White House to the AG Scandal…We aren’t still hearing about the scandalous treatment of the wounded veterans or Plamegate or Katrina or any of the hundreds of other fiascoes hosted upon America by this Administration.
  • ‘Tis the first (full) day of spring…Go see Garrison about what that means in Poetry.
  • Wandering through the log of visitors to this site is always a lot of fun. It never takes a lot of time, few visitors each day. I am always surprised there are as many as there are. What always intrigues me though is the geographical data. Why did someone visit from China? Was it random?

Kate at Cider Press Hill introduced me to an old concept that is newly named for me but well practiced for years… Commonplace Books. What a glorious name for a concept that’s inherit with the way my brain works. I have always kept notebooks, both paper and electronic, full of quotes and other bits and pieces of trivia pasted and copied onto the pages. To think, I have been creating Commonplace Books for years. Now that I know that this is an accepted self-publishing form of book-making, I will practice it with more respect for the tradition.

Along those lines, this quote was posted as appearing on a bumper sticker without the attribution. I find it fits well with my philosophy of life and personal mythology.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
George Bernard Shaw