Ruth Rouff

Ruth Rouff

Ruth A. Rouff is a poet, writer, and educator. She has published a novel, two biographies, numerous poems, and a book of collected poems and stories, along with freelance articles, and has taught in Philadelphia PA and Camden NJ. Her work has appeared in various literary journals, including Exquisite Corpse, Philadelphia Poets, and Wilde. She is featured at poetry readings around the metro Philadelphia area. She has also written two young-adult nonfiction books: Ida B. Wells: A Woman of Courage and Great Moments in Sports. Ruth is currently working on a book of narrative poems entitled Singular Women of the Old West.

Ruth was raised in southern New Jersey, near Philadelphia, and earned a BA in English from Vassar College and an MS in Education from Saint Joseph's University. She has worked at a variety of jobs, including retail management, publishing, editing, and teaching in Philadelphia public schools and in adult-education programs.


Cover art for Lone Star

New Biography: Lone Star

The life of Babe Didrikson reimagined.

As a poor kid growing up in Beaumont Texas, brash, scrappy Babe Didrikson dreams of becoming a great athlete. She is on her way to fulfilling her dream when in 1932 she wins five track and field events at the AAU National Championships and then medals three times at the 1932 Olympic Games.

Babe is suddenly a celebrated athlete, but the ways she can make a living as a female athlete are limited in the 1930s. Female athletes are enough of a novelty without adding her brash, out-spoken personality and strong and agile physicality that is anything but feminine. She has already had to put up with hostile whisperings denigrating her as being too raw, too masculine to be an acceptable role model for girls.

Babe finally finds her place in sports history when she discovers golf and eventually dominates both the amateur and professional tournaments with her victories and her winning personality. In 1950, she's voted the "Greatest Female Athlete of the First Half of the Century" by the Associated Press.

Ruth Rouff presents a reimagining of the life of Babe Didrikson Zaharias that delves into her lesbian desires behind the heterosexual public image she so carefully crafted. Babe Didrikson's story of self-doubt, longing, and overcoming challenges resonates today as many of us face the same societal prejudices and expectations as we continue the fight for equality for everyone.

Published by Blink Books. Available at Amazon and other bookstores.

Cover art for Pagan Heaven

Poetry and Stories

Where is Pagan Heaven? It's all around us. In our unceasing fascination with a movie star who died over half a century ago. In an inner-city youth who muses over the meaning of the word philosophy. In a statue of the Virgin Mary sitting atop a Coke machine. On a street where Walt Whitman once lived. On a lesbian-only cruise ship off the coast of Alaska. In an unusual melding of narrative poetry and spot-on prose, Pagan Heaven offers a wry take on the absurdities of modern American life, all the while celebrating human uniqueness whenever, wherever, and however it's found.

  • "Her consistency of style, paucity of words, and culmination of each narrative, be it poetry or prose, with a twist, are attributes that place Ruth Rouff's work on the highest level." (Rosemary Cappello, poet, writer, and editor, Philadelphia Poets)

  • "Writers capture the soul of places: Farrell on Chicago, Sherwood Anderson on Winesburg, Ohio. Ruth Rouff makes you feel, suffer, appreciate -and in a weird way- enjoy the bleak depressing landscape of South Jersey. Literature and art and lesbian dilemmas swirl ... and an ode to the Phillies that can stand on the same field with Updike’s farewell to the Kid. And just when you think that neither you nor the writer can take any more, she pitches her 'sneaky-fast' humor over the outside corner." (Harold C. Nassau)

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other bookstores.

Works on-line:

Featured Vignettes

Featured Poetry

Older Poetry

Cover art for The Brat

In Memory of Patricia A. McDevitt
Copyright 2000-2004, Ruth Rouff

Preview Chapters 1 & 2

Available through Amazon and iUniverse

Ida B Wells biography
Copyright 2010, Ruth Rouff

Preview Introduction & Chapter 1

Available through Townsend Press