John Crowe Ransom (1888-1974)
American poet and critic, leading theorist of the Southern literary renaissance that
began after WWI. Ransom's The New Criticism
provided the name for the influential mid-20th-century school of criticism.
Born in Pulaski, Tennessee, Ransom was educated at Varderbilt
University in Nashville. From 1914 to 1937, he taught English there. At Vanderbilt,
he was also the leader of the Fugitives, a group of poets who published
the influential literary magazine The Fugitive (1922-1925),
and shared a belief in the South and its regional traditions. He was
among those Fugitives who became known as the Agrarians.
Their I'll Take My Stand (1930) criticized the idea that industrialization
was the answer to the needs of the South.
Ransom taught from 1937 until his retirement
in 1958 at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, where he founded the literary magazine
The Kenyon Review
The works of John Crow Ransom include:
Ransom's poetry is collected in two volumes
- The World's Body(1938), in which he
takes the position
that poetry and science furnish different but equally valid knowledge
about the world.
- Poems and Essays (1955)
Beating the Bushes: Selected Essays 1941-1970(1972)
- Chills and Fever(1924)
- Two Gentlemen in Bonds(1927)
Return to Home Base