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John Crowe Ransom (1888–1974)

Author of Selected Poems

44+ Works 325 Members 3 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

A Rhodes scholar who went to Oxford University from Vanderbilt University, John Crowe Ransom later taught at Vanderbilt University from 1914 to 1937. While there, he became mentor to a number of individuals, including Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks, who later became involved in the New show more Criticism with Ransom. Professor of poetry at Kenyon College, Ohio, from 1937 to 1958, Ransom founded The Kenyon Review in 1939. He was also one of the seven residents of Nashville, Tennessee, who founded and edited The Fugitive (1922--25) and, according to Louis Untermeyer, "He more than any of the others was responsible for the new awakening of poetry in the South." He won the Academy of American Poets' $5,000 fellowship prize (1962) for his "distinguished poetic achievement." He also won the Bollingen Prize in poetry and the Loines Award for poetry. By writing a handful of lyrics remarkable for their irony and structural tensions, as well as critical essays that praised just these virtues in the name of New Criticism, Ransom had an influence far beyond many of his peers. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Bowen School Yearbook: 1903 Senior Class

Works by John Crowe Ransom

Selected Poems (1945) 113 copies
Poems and Essays (1955) 63 copies
The World's Body (1938) 17 copies
The Kenyon Review (2010) 17 copies
The New Criticism. (1979) 14 copies
God Without Thunder (1930) 11 copies
The Kenyon Critics (1951) 7 copies
Poems about God (2011) 3 copies

Associated Works

Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama (1995) — Contributor, some editions — 915 copies
A Pocket Book of Modern Verse (1954) — Contributor, some editions — 443 copies
Critical Theory Since Plato (1971) — Contributor, some editions — 399 copies
Criticism: Major Statements (1964) — Contributor — 222 copies
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (2006) — Contributor — 162 copies
American Wits: An Anthology of Light Verse (2003) — Contributor — 135 copies
A Comprehensive Anthology of American Poetry (1929) — Contributor — 128 copies
The Norton Book of Travel (1987) — Contributor — 110 copies
The Literature of the American South: A Norton Anthology (1997) — Contributor — 98 copies
Twentieth-Century American Poetry (1777) — Contributor — 97 copies
Wolf's Complete Book of Terror (1979) — Contributor — 76 copies
The Everyman Anthology of Poetry for Children (1994) — Contributor — 72 copies
American Sonnets: An Anthology (2007) — Contributor — 66 copies
Selected Poems of Thomas Hardy (1961) — Editor — 47 copies
Who Owns America: A New Declaration of Independence (1970) — Contributor — 45 copies
An American Omnibus (1933) — Contributor — 31 copies
60 Years of American Poetry (1996) — Contributor — 28 copies
Praising It New: The Best of the New Criticism (2008) — Contributor — 23 copies
The Intent of the Critic (1941) — Contributor — 15 copies
Lectures in Criticism (1961) — Contributor — 13 copies
Oxford and Oxfordshire in Verse (1982) — Contributor — 11 copies
Perspectives on poetry (1968) — Contributor — 7 copies
Case-Record from a Sonnetorium (1951) — Contributor — 6 copies
New World Writing 19 (1961) — Contributor — 2 copies
A VOYAGE TO THE BRITISH ISLES (1940) — Preface — 1 copy
Conversations on the craft of poetry — Contributor — 1 copy


Common Knowledge



At Vanderbilt, Ransom was a founding member of the Fugitives, a Southern literary group of 16 writers that functioned primarily as a kind of poetry workshop and included Donald Davidson, Allen Tate, and Robert Penn Warren. Under their influence, Ransom, whose first interest had been philosophy (specifically John Dewey and American pragmatism) began writing poetry. Ransom was a leading figure of the school of literary criticism known as the New Criticism, which gained its name from his 1941 volume of essays The New Criticism. The New Critical theory, which dominated American literary thought throughout the middle 20th century, emphasized close reading, and criticism based on the texts themselves rather than on non-textual bias or non-textual history.
Both Ransom's essays and poetry are worthwhile to read. As a student in the continuing education programs of the University of Chicago I especially enjoyed the essay, "Humanism at Chicago". It is a thoughtful review of some of the thought of the humanists who made Chicago great.
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jwhenderson | Feb 28, 2013 |
Certainly literary, and high quality writing, but not a literary journal I can read cover to cover (which is what I normally do with journals) without wandering. I can't help feeling that the work always has very high ambitions (and perhaps achievements and themes also in many cases)--but is usually lacking in passion. Very rarely do I start reading anything in this one that I very simply can't put down. I feel like it's worthwhile....but it's not a journal I turn to for escape or simple pleasure. I will say that the essays here are often fascinating and out of the ordinarly. Those, I recommend without reserve.… (more)
whitewavedarling | Jul 28, 2008 |



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