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.