Meet Samantha Dyens!

NOVEMBER 2004 WINNER

Please welcome Samantha Dyens to the Lost Genius Fellowship. When her roommate/best friend wrote to us, “Samantha, more than any other friend I have, has kept all of her successes boxed up under her bed," we knew we had a potential in the works. But her friend sealed the deal when she later wrote, "One day, when she was gone, I snuck out the box, looked inside, and discovered that it was empty.”

Samantha has an amazing history of lost potential. Consider this imposing list of awards that she claims she very well could've won had she tried:

  • Longfellow Scholarship
  • Fullbright Fellowship
  • McCann State University Prize for Best Acting
  • Best Volunteer at the McDonald House in Cleveland, OH
  • 1st prize at the Stark County Art Fair, 2002
  • Children's Hospital Glory Award
  • Bronze, maybe Silver in Gymanstics at the Children's Olympics, 1988
  • etc., etc.

The list just goes on and on. But perhaps what is most impressive about Ms. Dyens is her commitment to seeing very possible successes in the future become usurped by uncontrollable forces. She is an expert poet, and has almost won as many awards for them as Gerald Stern, but has been hampered, she says, by a society not yet ready to deal with her heady emotionalism, as this excerpt from "Why am I so sad?" puts poignantly:

Why am I so sad?
by Samantha "Depressed 'n' Dyin'" Dyens

Why am I so sad?
Is it because the world is in ruins?
Is it because life is too short?
No, it's neither of those.
In fact, it's simply that I know I can never achieve anything.
Not marriage, not an undergraduate degree,
not an article published in the New Yorker.
Nothing.
Because I'm sure John's gonna fuck it up.
Why even try?
That is the question.

Samantha enjoys oragami, extreme sports, painting, and playing the flute. But in practice, she only paints, and so far has amassed a whopping 3 paintings on 3"x5" postcards she sent herself. She also enjoys reading, but notes that frequently she can "get so amused by the writer's incredible wit that [she] just has to put the book down to truly enjoy it."

At the Lost Genius Foundation, we grant Samantha a hearty welcome to the Fellowship! We hope she never leaves (in fact, we count on it!)