A new reading series honoring acclaimed fiction writer and former Duke University professor Reynolds Price kicks off Wednesday, March 4, with an appearance by fiction writer Ron Rash.
The inaugural event of the Reynolds Price Reading Series takes place at 8 p.m. in Smith Warehouse, Bay 4. The event is free and open to the public.
Rash has published four collections of poetry, but is best known for his works of fiction, including The New York Times bestsellers “The Cove” and “Serena.” Rash has also written the prize-winning novels “One Foot in Eden,” “Saints at the River” and “The World Made Straight” and four story collections, including “Nothing Gold Can Stay” and “Burning Bright.” A winner of two O. Henry prizes, Rash teaches at Western Carolina University.
He will read from his new short story anthology, “Something Rich and Strange,” which was published in November.
The Reynolds Price Reading Series was established to honor Price, a celebrated author of fiction, nonfiction, drama and poetry who died in 2011 after teaching English at Duke for more than 50 years. It will feature annual appearances by visiting writers.
Fiction writer Joe Ashby Porter, who teaches English and theater studies at Duke, helped organize the event. Rash was a natural choice to open the series, Porter said.
Like Price, Rash and his work are deeply identified with North Carolina.
Most of Reynolds Price’s fiction was set in eastern North Carolina, however. Rash, by contrast, lives in the western part of the state and often sets his fiction there.
“Reynolds was a favorite son of North Carolina, and specifically of the eastern half of the state,” Porter said. “It was as if an invitation was left for us to look around and think, ‘Well, is there someone who covers the western half of the state?’
“A kind of completeness was achieved by inviting Rash to appear.”
The Reynolds Price Reading Series is presented by the Duke University English Department with support from the Schiff Family Reynolds Price Fund and the Lucaci Fund.