Ruth Thompson is an award-winning writer, the author of five books, most recently Quickwater Oracles: Conversations & Meditations (2021), which was First Runner Up for the Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize in 2022 and a finalist for the Montaigne Medal and the First Generation Indie Book Award for poetry.

Ruth’s new book, “Journey Bread,” will be published by Broadstone Books in 2024.

Ruth began writing in her fifties, after freeing herself from an abusive marriage, about which she wrote in Woman With Crows. Her poems have been praised by Stanley Plumly, Philip Terman, Irving Feldman, Frank X. Gaspar, and many others. Her work has won New Millennium Writings, Harpur Palate, Chautauqua, Tupelo Quarterly, and other national awards, and has been nominated several times for the Pushcart Prize by both American and Irish publications.

Whale Fall was choreographed and performed in Hilo, Hawai’i in 2018. Here Along Cazenovia Creek was choreographed and performed by the celebrated dancer Shizuno Nasu of Japan in 2012. Ruth also performed with cellist Lee Zimmerman in Whitefish, Montana in 2019.

Ruth holds a BA from Stanford University and a doctorate in English from Indiana University. She has been an English professor, library administrator, book editor, and college dean in California. She now lives in Ithaca, NY with her partner, anthropologist-writer Don Mitchell (Shibai; A Red Woman Was Crying). She teaches poetry, meditation, and writing from the body, and is the publisher of Saddle Road Press.

Poems, videos of Whale Fall, Dancing the Seasons, and other performances, and information about upcoming events can be found on this website.

Quickwater Oracles, Whale Fall & Black Sage, Crazing, Woman With Crows, and Here Along Cazenovia Creek are distributed by Ingram and are available through all independent bookstores and at all online booksellers such as Amazon and Powell’s.


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  1. Ruth, I was lucky enough to be your sophomore roommate at Eucalypto and knew what great insight and compassion you had. Your work is the culmination of everything you have seen, heard, and felt. So sad to miss your discussion at 50th reunion, but I would love to follow up. You are a gem.
    Mary Stroube Adams

    1. Mary, how wonderful to hear from you after all these years! And thank you – both for the kind and affectionate memories and for the generous comments on my work. Keep in touch!

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