Writing poems about writing poems is like rolling bales of hay in Texas. Nothing but the horizon to stop you. But consider the railroad's edge of metal trash; bird perches, miles of telephone wires. What is so innocent as grazing cattle? If you think about it, it turns into words. Trash is so cheerful; flying
Ruth Stone was born on June 8, 1915, in Roanoke, Virginia.
Her books of poetry include What Love Comes To: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize; In the Next Galaxy (Copper Canyon Press, 2002), which received the 2002 National Book Award; and Ordinary Words (Paris Press, 1999), which received the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Her poems startle us over and over with their shapeliness, their humor, their youthfulness, their wild aptness, their strangeness, their sudden familiarity, the authority of their insights, the moral gulps they prompt, their fierce exactness of language and memory.
Among her other awards are two Guggenheim Fellowships, The Bess Hokin Award from Poetry magazine, the Shelley Memorial Award, and the Vermont Cerf Award for lifetime achievement in the arts. She taught creative writing at several universities, including the State University of New York in Binghamton. A Vermont resident since 1957, she died at her home in Ripton, Vermont, on November 19, 2011. She was ninety-six years old.
What Love Comes To: New and Selected Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2008)
In the Dark (Copper Canyon Press, 2004)
In the Next Galaxy (Copper Canyon Press, 2002)
Ordinary Words (Paris Press, 1999)
Simplicity (Paris Press, 1995)
Second Hand Coat: Poems New and Selected (D. R. Godine, 1987)
American Milk (From Here Press, 1986)
Cheap : New Poems and Ballads (Harcourt Brace, 1975)
Topography, and Other Poems (Harcourt Brace, 1971)
In an Iridescent Time (Harcourt Brace, 1959)