Ruth Stone

Scope and Content

Consists of letters and proofs relating to the published poetry works of Ruth Stone.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ruth Stone was born in Virginia in 1915, and lived in rural Vermont for much of her life. In 1959, after her husband committed suicide, she had to raise three daughters alone, all the time writing what she called her ‘love poems, all written to a dead man’ who forced her to ‘reside in limbo’ with her daughters. For 20 years she travelled the US, teaching creative writing at many universities. A greatly loved teacher, she was still working into her 80s. She won many awards and honours, including the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Eric Mathieu King Award from the Academy of American Poets, a Whiting Award (with which she bought plumbing for her house), two Guggenheim Fellowships (one of which roofed the house), the Delmore Schwartz Award, the Cerf Lifetime Achievement Award from the state of Vermont, and the Shelley Memorial Award. Her retrospective What Love Comes To: New & Selected Poems was published in 2008 in the US by Copper Canyon and in the UK by Bloodaxe Books and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She died in 2011, aged 96.