She graduated from Stanford University in 1938 Phi Beta Kappa, and University of California, Los Angeles, with an M.A. in journalism in 1958, an M.A. in English in 1961, and a Ph.D. in English and American literature in 1962.
Stanford married Roland Arthur White, an architect, in 1942, and they had three daughters and one son.
When she died in 1987, at the age of seventy, Ann Stanford was at the apex of a long and distinguished career as a poet, translator, editor, scholar and teacher. Over a period of forty years, she had written eight volumes of poetry, two verse plays, and a book-length study of the Puritan poet Anne Bradstreet. She had also translated the classic Sanskrit text The Bhagavad Gita and edited The Women Poets in English, an anthology that gathered, for the first time, hundreds of years of poetry by women. Her poems had appeared regularly in the most prestigious journals and magazines—the New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, The New Republic, The Southern Review—and had been widely honored.
Two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in Poetry, Pushcart Prize, National Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, DiCastagnola Award for Poetry,
- 1968/1969 Shelley Memorial Award
- Holding Our Own:The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford. Edited by Maxine Scates and David Trinidad. Copper Canyon Press. 2001. ISBN 978-1-55659-158-7.
- Dreaming the Garden. Cahuenga Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0-9649240-8-6.
- The Countess of Forlì: A Poem for Voices. Orirana Press. 1985. ISBN 978-0-938364-04-7.
- In Mediterranean Air. Viking Press. 1977. ISBN 978-0-670-39587-3.
- Climbing Up To Light: Eleven Poems. Magpie Press. 1973.
- The Descent. Viking Press. 1970.
- The Weathercock. Viking Press. 1966.
- Magellan: A Poem To Be Read By Several Voices. Illustrator Newton D. Baird. Talisman Press. 1958.
- The White Bird. Swallow. 1949.
- In Narrow Bound. A. Swallow. 1943.
- The Bhagavad Gita: A New Verse Translation. Herder and Herder. 1970.
- Yvor Winters, ed. (1937). Twelve Poets of the Pacific.
- Ann Stanford, Constance Carrier, Cleo Sibley Gross, Frederick Bock, Robert Greenwood (1956). Talisman Poetry Folio Number One. Talisman Press.
- Ann Stanford (1974). Anne Bradstreet, the Worldly Puritan: An Introduction to Her Poetry. B. Franklin.
- Ann Stanford, ed. (1972). The women poets in English An anthology. Herder and Herder.
- Dana Gioia, Chryss Yost, Jack Hicks (2004). California poetry. Heyday Books. ISBN 978-1-890771-72-0.
- Holding Our Own: The Selected Poems of Ann Stanford edited by Maxine Scates and David Trinidad, Copper Canyon Press, 2001.