Log In

John Crowe Ransom

editor , educator , essayist , scholar , poet

John Crowe Ransom was an American educator, scholar, literary critic, poet, essayist and editor. He is considered to be a founder of the New Criticism school of literary criticism. As a faculty member at Kenyon College, he was the first editor of the widely regarded Kenyon Review. Highly respected as a teacher and mentor to a generation of accomplished students, he also was a prize winning poet and essayist.


Ransom was the third of four children of a Methodist minister. His family was highly literate. He published five main books of poetry, four books of essays, and edited three anthologies. He also published one textbook on writing, "A College Primer of Writing" (1943).


Ransom was home schooled until age ten.

He graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1909 and taught English there from 1914 to 1937. At Vanderbilt he was a key figure in a group of poets and critics known as the Fugitives, who celebrated the regional traditions of the South in their writings, many of which appeared in the periodical "The Fugitive" (1922–25). He interrupted his studies for two years to teach sixth and seventh grades in Taylorsville, Mississippi and Latin and Greek in Lewisburg, Tennessee.

After teaching one more year in Lewisburg, Ransom was selected as a Rhodes Scholar. He attended Oxford University's Christ Church, 1910–13, where he read "Greats", as the course in Greek and Latin classics is called.


Member faculty Vanderbilt University, 1914-1937, Professor of English, 1927-1937. Carnegie professor poetry Kenyan College, 1937-1958. Honorary consultant American letters Library of Congress.

Senior fellow (summers) Kenyon School English, now School Letters, Indiana U. Lector Colorado State Teachers College, Peabody College Teachers U. New Mexico, U. Florida, U. Kentucky, University Texas, Woman’s College North Carolina, U. Chattanooga, W. Tennessee Teachers College, Bread Loaf School English, Harvard. An editor and publisher The Fugitive, Nashville.


  • He was also known for the theory of literary criticism that he helped formulate through such works as "The New Criticism" (1941). 


Since righteousness is demanded of God, one needs to know how to receive lieutenant It is received through faith. It is having faith in God.


The Church is after all a movement which sought to inject passion, direction and purpose into the spiritual lives of the people.


Every member of a Christian Church should be delicate to other people and use appropriate language while communicating with others.


Member faculty Vanderbilt University, 1914-1937, Professor of English, 1927-1937. Served as First lieutenant, Field Artillery, United States Army, 1917-1919.

  • American Academy of Arts and Letters

    May 15, 1966 - January 24, 1974


Married Robb Reawill, December 22, 1920. Children: Helen Elizabeth, David Reawill, John James.

John James Ransom - Methodist minister

John James

Ella Crowe

Ella Ransom

Robb Reawill

1st wife:
Robb Reavill