1999 saw the celebration of Ruth Stone's eighty-fourth birthday and the
publication of her eleventh book, Ordinary Words, winner of the
Eric Mathieu King Award from the Academy of American Poets. A Virginia
native and professor of English at the State University of New York,
Binghamton, Stone is the recipient of many honors, including the Bunting
Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowships, the Delmore Schwartz Award, the Shelley
Memorial Award, and the Cerf Lifetime Achievement Award from the state
of Vermont, where she has lived for many years.
The poet Sharon Olds calls Stone's work "dazzling, original, fearless, funny,
and deeply moving." Southern Illinois Press recently published a book about her
life and work, The House Is Made Of Poetry, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert
and Wendy Barker. Stone's work is highly accessible and provocative, and crosses
lines of class, race, and age. Her other collections include Second-hand Coat (David
R. Godine) and Simplicity, published by Paris Press, the feminist press
based in Ashfield, MA., which also published Ordinary Words.