The Essential Ruth Stone

Ruth Stone, Bianca Stone, ed.

Forthcoming September 2020

Expertly and sensitively selected by her granddaughter Bianca, The Essential Ruth Stone bears witness to a vivid fifty-year career of one of America’s most influential and pioneering poets. Distilling twelve books into a single volume―from the wild formalism of her early work to the science-filled cosmic intellect of her final collection―The Essential Ruth Stone shows a visionary poet with a physical grasp on language. Dazzling, humorous and grief-stricken poems explore the continuity of loss and love, in the spectral appearances of the dead husband, to portraits of an American childhood, life during wartime, and complex metaphysical inquiries into consciousness itself. Ruth Stone’s feminism, mysticism and overall fierceness shine through her wit and passion. Moving gracefully between the loneliness of grief and loss to the fullness of life and love, Stone approaches all her subjects with a profound humanity, an understanding born from her own lived experiences.

ISBN: 9781556596087

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Ruth Stone (1915–2011) was born in Virginia. She is the author of thirteen books of poetry and her collected poems, What Love Comes To, was a finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. She is the recipient of many honors, including two Guggenheim Fellowships (one of which roofed her house). In 1959, after her husband committed suicide, she was forced to raise three daughters alone. (As she has pointed out, her poems are “love poems, all written to a dead man” …

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About the Editor

Bianca Stone is a writer and visual artist. Her books include Someone Else’s Wedding Vows (Tin House, 2014), The Mobius Strip Club of Grief (Tin House, 2018) and the children’s book of Gertrude Stein’s poem A Little Called Pauline, (Penny Candy Books, 2020). Her poems, poetry comics, and nonfiction have appeared in a variety of magazines including Poetry Magazine, The New Yorker, jubilat, and Harvard Review. She lives in Vermont where she is director of programs for The Ruth Stone …

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“[A] breathtaking distillation that draws from 10 collections and a nearly 60-year career, readers can see the literary evolution of the two-time Guggenheim Fellow and winner of the National Book Award in a new light… Throughout, Stone transforms sorrow into something layered and full of life. This stands as witness to the inner workings of her world and the extraordinary life she lived.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review