By Harriet Staff National Book Award winning poet Ruth Stone has passed away at 96. From the New York Times: A quietly respected poet who wrote in rural solitude, Ms. Stone became something of a public figure when news of her award was announced in November 2002 and press accounts drew attention to her unusual life story of struggle and belated acclaim, dominated by the suicide of her poet husband in 1959. New readers discovered a poet of varied and uncommon gifts, fierce and funny, by turns elegiac, scathing, lyric and colloquial . . . She began to gain a wider audience when her collection “Ordinary Words” (1999) won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2000. With the publication of “In the Next Galaxy” by Copper Canyon Press, her ascent to the front rank of American poets was confirmed. In 2007 she was named to a four-year term as Vermont’s state poet.