- Music from Apartment 8: New and Selected Poems (2004)
- A Bridge Across the Dark (unpublished)
- Where Water Begins (1998) (Mississippi Arts and Letters Award for Poetry, 1999)
- On Doctoring: Stories, Poems and Essays (1995) (co-editor)
- In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine (1990) (non-fiction)
- Renaming the Streets (1985) (winner of Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letter for poetry in 1985)
- January: A Flight of Birds (1983)
- In All This Rain (1980)
- Principles and Practices of Emergency Medicine (1978) non-fiction
- The Smell of Matches (1972)
John Henry Stone, a poet, essayist, and cardiologist, was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on February 7, 1936. He was the grandson of a general practitioner. His father, a production supervisor, died of a heart attack at the age of forty-five when Stone was a senior in high school. Stone went to Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, for his B.S. He earned his M.D. degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He completed his residency in medicine and cardiology at the University of Rochester. After he received a fellowship in cardiology from Emory University in Atlanta, he spent almost forty years there as a member of the medical school faculty.
Stone’s first wife Lu (Sarah Lucretia Crymes) died in 1991. They had been married for thirty-some years and parented two sons, Jim and John, both of whom graduated from Emory and are now physicians at Emory Johns Creek Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, respectively. John Stone’s unpublished book, A Bridge Across the Dark, chronicled his life with Lu and his grief after her death. John’s second wife, Mae Nelson Stone, worked at Emory with him for years.
The first half of Stone’s medical career was spent at Grady Memorial Hospital where he founded the emergency medicine residency program and a department. He was associate dean for admissions at Emory Medical school for nineteen years. He taught the first medical school course that combined the study of literature with medicine. In 1978 he wrote a book on the principles and practices of emergency medicine. It was the first comprehensive textbook in the then-emerging specialty.
After his retirement, he remained deeply involved with Emory University.
In 2008, Sylvia Wrobel wrote in the Emory Report (Vol. 61, No. 12) that John H. Stone, III, was “Emory’s doctor-poet—a man who practiced life and medicine as he celebrated both in his poems: with joy, careful listening, and wonder… As cardiologist, mentor to medical students and residents, and as an internationally recognized poet and essayist, the heart was his special territory. He wore his self-described “double harness of medicine and literature” easily, always ready to capture an image, the revealing power of simple moments, on the note cards he carried in his pocket.”
Stone actually came to poetry before medicine. He had edited his high school and college literary magazines before getting his medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis. About the time that he joined the Emory medical school faculty in 1969, he began attending the Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont where he served as physician for three summers.
Stone wrote five books of poetry. His first book of poetry, The Smell of Matches, was published by Rutgers University Press in 1972. His poems have appeared in many anthologies and such publications as Poetry, The American Scholar, The New York Quarterly, The Georgia Review, The Southern Review, New England Review, and Poetry Northwest. His other books of poetry include In All This Rain, Renaming the Streets, Where Water Begins, and Music from Apartment 8. His final published work, Music from Apartment 8: New and Selected Poems (2004), includes poems exploring the poet’s relationship with his mother, his travels to the Middle East, and his love of classical music.
Stone was a four-time Georgia Writer of the Year and a winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters in for poetry in 1992. Stone believed that literature could instill in young physicians the importance of their patients’ and their own humanity. He created one of the first medical school courses combining literature and medicine, which he taught at Emory and in Emory’s summer studies program at Oxford University. He co-edited with Richard Reynolds an anthology of literature and medicine called On Doctoring. The book has been given to every U.S. medical student since 1991 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Stone’s nonfiction, In the Country of Hearts: Journeys in the Art of Medicine, a collection of twenty-three essays published in 1990, earned him his fourth Georgia Writer of the Year Award. He won the Literature Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters twice and was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1992, Georgia Governor Zell Miller presented him with the Governor’s Award in the Humanities. Stone was also emeritus professor of cardiology at the Emory University School of Medicine.
John Stone died of cancer in Atlanta, Georgia, on November 6, 2008.
- AMA Journal of Ethics article about John Stone
- Emory tribute to John Stone
- Read the John Stone poem heard on air, ‘Gaudeamus Igitur.’
- Poem by Stone called A Gathering of Stone
- Stone’s fifth book shares Music from Apartment 8
- The New Georgia Encyclopedia biography of John Stone
- ‘Poet and Pianist’ marks first artistic collaboration
- John Stone muses on icy, mercurial Southern winters
- John Stone’s work in progress recounts dealing with loss
- Contemporary Authors, vols. 89-92 (Detroit: Gale, 1980) s.v. “Stone, John.”
- Michael Heffernan, “A Conversation with John Stone, Physician and Poet,” Midwest Quarterly 26 (winter 1985).
- Sally Harris Sange, “On John Stone,” Southern Review 27 (spring 1991).
- Anita Sharpe, “The Doctor as Poet: John Stone’s Theme Is ‘Listen to Patients,'” Wall Street Journal , March 3, 1998.
- William J. Walsh, “John Stone,” Speak So I Shall Know Thee: Interviews with Southern Writers (Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 1990).