Ruby Altizer Roberts

Ruby Altizer Roberts (April 22, 1907 – May 24, 2004) was an author and the Poet Laureate of Virginia.

Ruby Altizer Roberts
Born(1907-04-22)April 22, 1907
Alum Ridge, Virginia
DiedMay 24, 2004(2004-05-24) (aged 93)
Christiansburg, Virginia
GenreFormal poetry, children's literature, genealogy

Personal lifeEdit

Roberts was born in Alum Ridge, Virginia in 1907. When she was still a child her family moved to Cambria, Virginia, where she spent most of the rest of her life. She was married to highway contractor Laurence Roberts from 1927 until his death in 1966; the couple had one daughter.[1]


Early in her career Roberts published two collections of poetry, Forever Is Too Long (1946) and Command the Stars (1948). Her poems also appeared in magazines and in newspapers such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. In 1952 she became editor of traditional poetry journal The Lyric, a position she held for the next 25 years.[1]

Her prose works consist of a genealogical history, three memoirs, and the children's book The Story of Buzzy Bee (1982).

Awards and recognitionEdit

Roberts received a number of awards and honours in connection with her writing. In 1950 she was named Poet Laureate of Virginia, and in 1992 the General Assembly of Virginia named her Poet Laureate Emerita of Virginia. In 1961 she was conferred an honorary humanities doctorate by the College of William & Mary in Virginia.[1]


  • Emera Altizer and his Descendants, with Sketches of Connected Families (with Rosa Altizer Bray, 1937)
  • Forever is Too Long, 1946
  • Command the Stars (illustrated by Don Blanding, 1948)
  • The Way it Was (1979)
  • The Story of Buzzy Bee (illustrated by Jeanne Altizer Barley, 1982)
  • Look Down at the Stars (1994)
  • The Way it is (1994)

Further readingEdit

  • Chase, Stacey (March 1, 1992). "Poet Laureate: 'I'm into life.'". Richmond Times Dispatch.
  • Redman, Colleen (January–March 2000). "A Lifetime of Poetry". Expressions.
  • Moxley, Tonia (May 30, 2004). "'That's the Way She Was, Like a Bubbling Spring.'". Roanoke Times & World News.


  1. ^ a b c Crawford, Meriah L. (April 7, 2011). "Ruby Altizer Roberts (1907–2004)". Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Retrieved January 3, 2014.