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.

Writing Events

Last Saturday (March 5, 2016), Wright Memorial Public Library in Oakwood hosted an Author Fair with more than a dozen local authors. Ten authors gave 10-minute readings, so it was a great opportunity to get to hear all of the diverse voices in the community. Here are photos of all of the speakers in the order they appeared.

Peggy Barnes

Author of the adoption memoir I Knew You By Name.

peggy-barnes

Molly Campbell

Molly is a two-time Erma Bombeck award winning writer. She hosts her own intelligent and funny blog, www.mollydcampbell.com, as well as writing for the popular international web site “Moms Who Need Wine.”

molly-campbell

Barbara Cerny

Author Barbara T. Cerny grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado, which at that time was a small town of 30,000 people. She left that little burg to see the world, garner three college degrees, and to serve in the US Army. After eight years on active duty and fourteen years in the reserves, she retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2007. While deployed to the Middle East in 2005, Ms. Cerny finally figured out she had to get going on the real love of her life, writing. She wrote her first two novels during that time and hasn’t stopped. Online at https://barbaracernybooks.wordpress.com/.

barbara-cerny

Ed Davis

A native West Virginian, Ed Davis is a novelist, poet, and educator. His newest novel, The Psalms of Israel Jones, a father-son journey toward spiritual redemption, was published by West Virginia University Press in September 2014. Online at DavisEd.com.

ed-davis

Ann Hagedorn

Ann Hagedorn is the award-winning author of The Invisible Soldiers and four previous books: Wild Ride, Ransom, Beyond the River, and Savage Peace, and has been a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News and San Jose Mercury News. She has taught writing at Northwestern University‘s Medill School of Journalism, Columbia University‘s Graduate School of Journalism, Xavier University, and Miami University. Ann Hagedorn’s latest book The Invisible Soldiers tells the urgent story of the privatization of America’s national security and the dramatic rise of a bold new industry of private security contractors. Online at AnnHagedorn.com.

ann-hagedorn

Katrina Kittle

Katrina was born in Illinois but has lived in the Dayton area since first grade, (except for her Year as a Gypsy). She taught high school English and theatre at Centerville High School for five years, and she taught middle school English and theatre at the Miami Valley School for six. Katrina is the author of Traveling Light, Two Truths and a Lie, and The Kindness of Strangers, and The Blessings of the Animals, all with HarperPerennial. She’s online at KatrinaKittle.com.

katrina-kittle

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Alex Kundera

Alex Kudera has survived a decade of adjunct-teaching overloads but in some circles is better known for his mysterious injuries. He has bussed dishes in two countries and loitered in bookstores on several continents. A lifelong Philadelphian until fall 2007, Alex currently teaches literature and writing at Clemson University in South Carolina. Fight for Your Long Day is his first published novel.

alex-kundera

P. Andrew Miller

Short story and sci-fi author, P. Andrew Miller teaches creative writing at Northern Kentucky University and also Raymond Walters College of the University of Cincinnati. Online at PAndrewMiller.com.

p-andrew-miller

Rebecca Morean

Rebecca Morean is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and screenwriter. Her work has appeared in Salon, Sundial Press, The Tishman Review, The Lost Coast Review, Piker Press, Ploughshares, Kalliope, Bella and more, and her novels are with St. Martin’s Press, Avignon Press, Escape Publishing (AU), Roundfire Books (UK), and Breese Books (UK). She teaches English composition and creative writing at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio. She’s online at RAMorean.com.

rebecca-morean

Sharon Short

Sharon Short is the author of the novel My One Square Inch of Alaska (Penguin Plume) in which a pair of siblings escape the strictures of the 1950s industrial Ohio town on the adventure of a lifetime. Sharon is the Literary Life columnist for the Dayton Daily News and is the Executive Director of the renowned Antioch Writers’ Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She is part of a fiction manuscript consulting group, “The Write Sisters.” She’s online at SharonShort.com.

sharon-short

Suzanne Kelly

Suzanne Kelly is the author of the novel, Stolen Child, an Irish American coming of age story set on the eve of the election of John F. Kennedy. You can find her on Facebook.

suzanne-kelly

David Lee Garrison

David Lee Garrison was born in Bremerton, Washington. He earned his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University, taught Spanish and Portuguese at Wright State University from 1979 to 2009, and is now retired. Garrison’s poems have appeared widely in journals such as Connecticut Review, Poem, and Rattle, and also in several anthologies. Two poems from his book, Sweeping the Cemetery, were read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac, and one was included in Keillor’s Good Poems, American Places. The title poem from his book, Playing Bach in the D. C. Metro, was featured by Ted Kooser on his website, American Life in Poetry.

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Many thanks to the Wright Memorial Library for hosting such a great event!

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