John Crowe Ransom
J-Cro, The Poet Bird, The Gentleman's Critic, Land-Lover, The Mouth of the South
Male. I was really into the idea of the Southern gentleman, with all of the genteel tradition, elegance, rules, and manners that involved.
Pulaski, Tennessee. This small town has the unfortunate distinction of being the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, but for me it would always be home.
Let's just get it out on the table: I was a super accomplished guy. Professor of English, composer of lyrical poems, founder of my very own school of criticism—I was busier than an over-scheduled sixth grader. I carved out a professional niche for myself at Vanderbilt University.
Here's to homeschooling. Dad got me really stoked about learning from an early age, and I went on to be top of my class at a Nashville boys' academy. I earned my B.A. from Vanderbilt (Phi Beta Kappa). As a Rhodes Scholar (you read that right), I later earned an M.A. at Oxford.
I didn't really care what went down in Washington, but I did give a lot of thought to American labor, culture, industry, and economics—and that's all political, right? I thought about how the government impacted people, not about government itself.
Dad—like his own dad—was a Methodist preacher, and since he was my teacher as well as my dad, his religious beliefs were a big part of my upbringing. Let's just say I lived in a religious household.
Composing poems under a copper-orange autumn-red maple tree
Poets and Critics United (PCU)