Ruth Stone spent most of her time in her house in Goshen, Vermont, high in the green mountains, on a winding dirt road. The house is large and creaky, ancient, heated with stoves in the middle of the rooms, and filled to the brim with books and writing. In 1952 she won Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize and in 1956 received the Kenyon Review Fellowship in Poetry. With the prize money, she purchased the farmhouse, and from that point on her heart resided there without respite, leaving only for long winters to teach around the country at many universities including the University of Illinois, Brandeis, and finally SUNY Binghamton where she was professor Emeritus.
She is buried behind the house, near the raspberry bushes she’d ordered from a magazine. Many poets and writers have stayed and worked there over the years. In the collection of essays, The House Is Made of Poetry: The Art of Ruth Stone, Edited by Wendy Barker and Sandra M. Gilbert, poet Sharon Olds, who often visited Stone and her daughters in Vermont, writes:
“A Ruth Stone poem feels alive in the hands—ardent, independent, restless. [It] propels forward like a gifted wide-end receiver…Stone’s poems are mysterious, hilarious, powerful. They are understandable, often with a very clear surface, but not simple–their intelligence is crackling and complex.”