Myrna Stone

Myrna Stone (Poetry) | Greenville,OH

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Myrna Stone is the author of five full-length books of poetry: Luz Bones (Etruscan Press, 2017); In the Present Tense: Portraits of My Father (White Violet Press, a Div. of Kelsay Books, 2013), finalist for the 2014 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Casanova Chronicles (Etruscan Press, 2010), finalist for the 2011 Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; How Else to Love the World (Browser Book Publishing, 2007); and The Art of Loss (Michigan State University Press, 2001), for which she was named 2001 Ohio Poet of the Year. Stone has received three Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards in Poetry, a Full Fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, the 2017 New Letters Poetry Prize, and the 2002 Poetry Award from Weber, The Contemporary West. In 2015 she presented five morning lectures on Poetry as a member of the faculty of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Every Day Poems, and have appeared in such journals as Poetry, Ploughshares, Boston Review, TriQuarterly, The Massachusetts Review, Nimrod, River Styx and Southwest Review, among many others. Her work has also appeared in nine anthologies, including Flora Poetica: The Chatto Book of Botanical Verse; I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems of Ohio; and Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude. Stone is a founding member of The Greenville Poets, a well-published group established in 1985, and lives in Greenville, Ohio in an 18th century house she and her husband moved from Rhode Island.


Cover image for Luz Bones by Myrna Stone
Luz Bones (Etruscan Press, 2017). Poetry.

Cover image for In Present Tense by Myrna Stone
In Present Tense: Portraits of My Father (White Violet Press, a Division of Kelsay Books, 2013). Poetry.

Cover image for The Casanova Chronicles
The Casanova Chronicles (Etruscan Press, 2010). Poetry.

Cover image for How Else to Love the World by Myrna Stone
How Else to Love the World (Browser Books Publishing, 2007). Poetry.

Cover image for The Art of Loss by Myrna Stone
The Art of Loss (Michigan State University Press, 2001). Poetry.

Blurbs, Press, & Reviews

Praise for Luz Bones:

“Stone, a vocal chameleon, performs remarkable ventriloquisms, through which the poems enact a complex of multiple inspirations—not only by the characters who ghost these pages, but also by Stone, who at once is haunted by and haunts her subjects.”
—Katherine Coles, former Utah Poet Laureate and author of Flight, The Earth Is Not Flat, and Fault

“In her chiseled arrangement of dramatic monologues, Myrna Stone brackets her historical imaginations in poems of personal loss, as if to make of intimate tragedy an “earthen door” that leads deep into and away from lives long past. Thus the sacramental union of gratitude and mourning, witness and invention, magnanimity and art. A deeply moving and masterful book.”
—Bruce Bond, author of The Other Sky, Peal, Cinder, and Choir of the Wells

“Myrna Stone’s depth of historical knowledge and talent for storytelling should not in any way suggest that her technical skills don’t reach the pay grade of poetry’s big leagues, far from it. Wherefore art thou wherewithal to learn, listen, and savor? God help the inattentive reader. An Ohioan, Stone has four other collections in circulation and counts Poetry, The Southwest Review, Quarterly West, and numerous other journals as friends of her work.”
—Matt Sutherland, Forward Reviews, May/June 2017 issue

Praise for In the Present Tense: Portraits of My Father:

“Myrna Stone, the author of The Casanova Chronicles, a memorable sequence that is one of the best long poems in recent years, has moved from Casanova to her own father—and chronicled the texture of a relationship as well as the tenure of a mind gone to ruin. These conversational sonnets demonstrate the elasticity of a form devoted to love; Stone also shows us that some of our greatest love stories are not the ones we expected.”
—Kim Bridgford, author of Instead of Maps, Undone, and Bully Pulpit

“Myrna Stone’s In the Present Tense is a powerful work—not just because it chronicles the last, difficult years of her very elderly father (in first class sonnets) but also because of the sweep she achieves in documenting the orbit of all those involved: from family members to other assisted living patients. It’s a breadth that only the best writers can achieve—sadness, yes, but also wisdom, fortitude, love, and even humor. As one of the sons whispers to his fading father, remembering the father’s love of fishing: ‘Dad, it’s time to catch the big one’—so does Myrna Stone catch what it’s really like to deal with these tragic circumstances, and continues to show why poetry, and her poems, are absolutely necessary.”
—Tim Suermondt, author of Josephine Baker Swimming Pool, The World Doesn’t Know You, and Just Beautiful

Praise for The Casanova Chronicles:

“Sonnets spoken by parrots? Couplets rhymed by a ventriloquist’s dummy? A book of poems like no other, wonderfully oddball yet technically impressive. The Casanova Chronicles offers more wonders than a cabinet of curiosities, more pleasures than a night of vaudeville. The legendary lover himself comes alive through voices spiked variously with sympathy, humor, and bile. That’s Myrna Stone’s gift: to lay bare the hearts that throb beneath feathers and flesh, and sometimes even wood.”
—Michael Waters, author of Celestial Joyride, Gospel Night, and Darling Vulgarity

“These poems rant, chatter, cajole, prate, excoriate. Each is a busy bee, a chatterbox, a blabbermouth in which a husband talks so sexy to his wife that a waiter has to shut him up or an aged Casanova catalogues his bowed legs, his paunch, his loose flesh. Stone’s lines crackle with wit and insight and burst from the page like a dropped bottle of soda pop. Put this book in the other room when you go to bed tonight—it’s noisy!”
—David Kirby, author of get up, please, The Biscuit Joint, and The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems

“This is the third book by Myrna Stone, from Greenville, Ohio, who is emerging as a powerful new voice in contemporary poetry. She reveals a vast, rich vocabulary and, especially in this book, a fluent command of various forms, from the sonnet to the triolet to the sestina. As George Bilgere suggests in a quotation on the cover of the book, this is a ‘wild, sexy, exuberantly off-the-wall collection’ in which ‘parrots, puppets, and the great Casanova take turns force-feeding Viagra to the stuffy old sonnet. But it’s Myrna Stone’s Rabelaisian gift for language that really steals the show.’

It is quite a show and, yes, she steals it again and again.”

—David Lee Garrison, review in Rattle, April 30th, 2011

Praise for How Else to Love the World:

“…the reader is increasingly aware of falling under the spell of a poet whose relationship with the world is passionate, even romantic—lover and beloved—and whose way with language is sensuous, often erotic, and palpably physical.”
—Excerpt from the Introduction to How Else to Love the World by B. H. Fairchild, author of The Blue Buick: New and Selected Poems, Usher, Early Occult Memory Systems of the Lower Midwest, and The Art of the Lathe

“Reading Stone, I think of John Donne. Like him, she delights in wit and desire and the sweet coupling of word and word.”
—Elton Glaser, author of The Law of Falling Bodies, Translations from the Flesh, and Here and Hereafter

“Through formal gestures and voluptuous language, Myrna Stone praises the pleasures of the world, whether they arise from “the body’s ambition” or from the mind aroused by discipline and art. How Else to Love the World is a book of fierce and passionate engagements.”
—Michael Waters, author of Gospel Night, Darling Vulgarity, and Green Ash, Red Maple, Black Gum

Praise for The Art of Loss:

“If poetry is, to quote Myrna Stone, a bit out of context, ‘a sort of sunlight on the tongue,’ this impressive first collection is full of bright speech. Rooted in her Midwestern, Catholic girlhood, Stone’s poetry is intrinsically spiritual in bent, illuminating those moments in which her characters, all of them ‘souls riddled with yearning,’ are at their most human, most flawed, and most blessed. Whether it is dusk, dawn, or the dull glare of winter, Stone’s gorgeous language ‘annotates the light’ and with it our understanding of what constitutes dignity and grace, love and loss.”
—Enid Shomer, author of Stars at Noon: Poems from the life of Jacqueline Cochran, This Close to the Earth, and Stalking the Florida Panther

“To be sure, it is the art transcending the loss that marks the value of these first poems by Myrna Stone. There is a full adult voice in this writing, a sense of the story earned before it is elevated. Stone is another of those fine Midwestern poets of lived-through experience.”
—Stanley Plumly, author of Old Heart, The Marriage in the Trees, and Boy on the Step

“Recklessly formal and daringly casual, Myrna Stone’s poems set page after page aglow with amplitude of feeling and vibrancy of detail. This book reminds us terribly and beautifully of all in life that can be ‘saved, but never kept.’”
—Jeff Gundy, author of Abandoned Homeland, Somewhere Near Defiance, and Spoken Among the Trees

“In her first book, with considerable grace and fine, lovely detail, Stone evokes her family’s world and the larger world around it, while telling stories of our perpetual waste and repair. Any book about loss, of course, must also be about memory. In the first poem, “Simulacrum,” which acts as preface for the collection, Stone recognizes that memory doesn’t salvage loss, but rather is lost itself, and out of that loss—memory’s imperfections—art arises: ‘. . . all of this lucidity even now imperfectly / preserved, at once transmutable and intractable / so that what memory will call up are not these images / but a distillate: construct of mirror and shadow, / of an intimate face illuminating one nameless moment.’ Many of these poems—especially the ones that stick close to the poet’s Ohio-based, Roman Catholic home—are themselves vividly memorable art…”
—David Daniel, Ploughshares, Issue 89, Winter 2002-03
“In this consistently fine collection . . . Stone shows that poetry is foremost about reclaiming lost time, about creating lasting monuments to the forces that pass through our lives . . . Perhaps the greatest strength in these powerful poems lies in Stone’s iconographic artistry. Infusing her verse with dignity and grace, she has turned poetry into a spiritual discipline, attuned to the mercy and beauty of the world, which often appear unbidden: ‘And no one, not even the child crouched / at the back of the nave, sees—high in the apex / of the shadowy vault above them, in the ghostly / flutter of a dove’s wings—the harbinger, the spirit / in the flesh, the Angel of Light / descending.’ Stone charts the river of meaning that runs through our lives—one that we can best navigate by looking back. And whatever else we may say about the nature of poetry, without the spiritual incandescence of Stone’s first poems, the genre will always be less than it should.”
—Arlice Davenport, TheWichita Eagle
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