Hall of Fame Honorees
Poet and essayist John Henry Stone is a four-time Georgia Writer of the Year, as well as an honored emeritus professor of cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine.
"To enter Stone's poetry is to enter the territory of the heart," David Bottoms, Georgia's poet laureate, has said. "He is one of the few contemporary poets who actually tries to show us why life is worth living. Reading the poems of John Stone is like getting a house call from an eminent physician of the spirit."
The Mississippi-born Stone came to poetry before medicine, having edited his high school and college literary magazines before taking his medical degree at Washington University (St. Louis). At around the same time that he joined the Emory medical school faculty in 1969, Stone attended the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont, where he would serve as physician for three summers. His first book of poetry, The Smell of Matches, was published by Rutgers University Press in 1972. Widely anthologized, his poems have appeared in such publications as Poetry, The American Scholar, The New York Quarterly, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, and Poetry Northwest. Successive collections of poetry -- In All This Rain, Renaming the Streets, Where Water Begins, and Music from Apartment 8 -- appeared in 1980, 1985, 1998 and 2004, respectively.
The twenty-three essays of In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine (1990) earned Stone his fourth Georgia Writer of the Year Award, his first for nonfiction. Since 1991, Stone has co-edited On Doctoring, an anthology of literature and medicine presented to every student entering a U.S. medical school. Of the relationship between literature and medicine, Stone believes physicians and poets share an identical duty to listen to life and, by doing so, to find each story anew. In Stone's words, it is the duty "to be astonished."
Repeatedly honored for his teaching at Emory, Stone has given guest lectures at over 150 institutions, including Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Virginia, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Brown, and the Mayo Clinic. In 1992, Georgia Governor Zell Miller presented him with the Governor's Award in the Humanities. John Stone died of cancer in Atlanta, November 6, 2008.
The following titles may be found in the Hall of Fame Library:
In All This Rain. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1980.
In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine. New York: Delacorte Press, 1990.
In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine. New York: Dell Publishers,1992.
In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
January. A Flight of Birds. Winston-Salem: Palaemon Press, 1983.
Music From Apartment 8. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004.
On Doctoring: Stories, Poems and Essays. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995.
Renaming the Streets. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1985.
The Smell of Matches. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1972.
The Smell of Matches. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988.
Where Water Begins: New Poems and Prose. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1998.
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