It was with great sorrow that we learned of the death of Ruth Stone, former Vermont poet laureate and dear friend. Across a career that spanned more than half a century, Ruth published 13 books. Working for decades in relative obscurity, she received much-deserved recognition in 2000, when her collection Ordinary Words won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She was 85 at the time. Ruth won the National Book Award two years later for her collection In the Next Galaxy, and at 93 was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for What Love Comes to: New and Selected Poems. Although she taught at colleges and universities across the country, Ruth spent much of her life in her farmhouse in Goshen, Vermont, and was named the state’s poet laureate in 2007. The Hunger Mountain Ruth Stone Poetry Prize is named in her honor. Author Elizabeth Gilbert describes a remarkable encounter with Ruth Stone in this excerpt from a TED talk.