Writer's Life, Writing Events

Q: What’s the hardest thing about writing poetry?

The hardest thing about writing poetry is that the poem I write is never as fine or as satisfying as the poem I imagined I would write. In other words, perfection isn’t possible, and anything less is disappointing. There’s a process that I went through as a poet that I think most poets go through. When I first began writing poems at the age of twelve I thought each one was wonderful. I’m a poet, I told myself, and aren’t I great! When I finally began to try to place poems in journals I was quickly disabused of my “greatness.” At this point, a lot of would-be poets quit. But I was too stubborn to do that. Instead I started reading other poets to try to find those whose work excited me. I read them first for pleasure, then read them again to find out how they did what they did. I couldn’t be them, but studying them helped me learn the skills to be more me. In the end that’s perhaps what we ought to be after in plying the art of poetry. And if greatness is not achieved by most of us, we can at least become poets of our own substance and our own consequence.

Myrna Stone newest book of poetry, Luz Bones, came out last week from Etruscan Press. Stone is the author of five full-length books of poetry. She has received two Ohio Arts Council Fellowships and a Full Fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, is a two-time finalist for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry, and was named 2001 Ohio Poet of the Year by the Ohio Poetry Association. Her poems have been included in nine anthologies, and have appeared in over fifty journals, including Poetry, Boulevard, The Massachusetts Review, Southwest Review, Ploughshares, River Styx, Nimrod, and Crab Orchard Review. Stone is a founding member of The Greenville Poets, a well-published group that meets monthly in Greenville, Ohio.

Upcoming arts events

MONDAY: The Atacama: The Driest Desert in the World. May 22, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – Northmont Branch, 333 West National Road, Englewood, OH 45322. There are areas in the Atacama Desert where zero rainfall has been recorded in the past 500 years. Allen Johnson traveled to the desert to visit its unique environment and make astronomical observations at the Atacama Lodge, the home of the space center and telescopes, and visited the Salar de Atacama, El Tatio Geysers, and Aldea de Tulor. More.

TUESDAY: Biking to the Arctic Circle. May 23, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm. Dayton Metro Library – Kettering-Moraine Branch, 3496 Far Hills Ave, Dayton, OH 45429. Biking to the Arctic Circle? Impossible, there’s snow and ice up there. Regardless, Allen Johnson did just that. He couldn’t convince any of his grandchildren to join him for the whole four thousand miles, but family and coworkers joined him for portions of the trip across the Alaskan Highway and Canada as he faced flat tires and head winds and saw bald eagles, deer, and bears. Was it worth the effort? He says “You bet!” More.

TUESDAY: Dayton Grand Slamm! May 23, 2017 @ 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm. Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine St, Dayton, OH 45402. This is the Grand Slam event! Story Slamm Dayton is pleased to present each of the monthly winners from this season, battling it out on stage for the title of Grand Slam Champion. We are also proud to welcome guest judge and storyteller, Mary Coomer, Louisville Moth regular and two-time featured storyteller on the Moth Radio show. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:00. More.

TUESDAY: Megan Whalen Turner debuts new book. May 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Books&Co, 4453 Walnut St, Beavercreek, OH 45440. MEGAN WHALEN TURNER, author of the entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels, will introduce her newest work, Thick as Thieves. It features Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, who has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the empire. But with a whispered warning, the future Kamet envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path. This epic adventure sees an ordinary hero take on an extraordinary mission. More.

WEDNESDAY: Wasahi Papermaking. May 24, 2017 @ 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. Antioch College, 1 Morgan Pl, Yellow Springs, OH 45387. Japanese techniques for papermaking, like similar methods used in other Asian countries, allow the production of exceptionally thin, long-fibered sheets. This workshop will begin with each student making their own mould and mould covering which they will be able to keep for their own papermaking at home after the conclusion of the workshop. The fee for non-students is $40, which includes all materials costs, including your own paper creation to take home. More.

THURSDAY: Molly Campbell introduces her new novel. May 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Books&Co, 4453 Walnut St, Beavercreek, OH 45440. MOLLY CAMPBELL will introduce her novel, Crossing the Street. In it, we meet Beck Throckmorton who finds herself living unexpectedly in a small suburban Ohio town with an 83 year old neighbor who has turned out to be her best friend, writing erotica and stewing over the fact that her ex has taken up with her sister. Enter a needy but wise little girl who finds a place in her heart and Beck finds herself “at an emotional intersection she never anticipated. And now it’s time to cross the street.” More.

SUNDAY: Heritage Day Festival. May 28, 2017 @ 11:00 am – 8:30 pm. Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, OH 45409. Held on Memorial Day weekend, Heritage Day at Carillon Historical Park celebrates Dayton’s unparalleled history through special activities, costumed interpreters, and more. Draped in patriotic decorations, the Park welcomes thousands of guests each year to this family friendly event! After a full day of historical demonstrations, miniature train rides, and general merriment, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra fills the air with beautiful music. More.