The Woman and the War Baby
Cover art: Okanagan I – by Joe Feddersen
With blood and water filtered through bone, Bill Ransom conjures the (auto)biography of war and love —"that thin guerilla"—and their denizens: sons and mothers; sons and fathers; men and women, apart and together; and always the children born into a violence not of their making. With lyrical and alertly-wrought language Ransom testifies to the villainies and heroics of these sojourners as they—and we—wend our way through the minefields of the bodily politic. – Kathleene West
Owls know but do not tell. Thistles and wild rose keep words to themselves though they pray for miracles. Bill Ransom gives us the magical dream of an image afloat in the fact of space, while time itself is a steady line: "A loose log rolls in the surf outside." If writer and reader can be said to create a new thing through a work of art, The Woman and The War Baby veers to such transformations. It’s an incendiary not of destruction but renewal. The gift of a voice cuts across dumb silence in the face of oblivion. In "a fruit so juicy, so sweet" we taste not only the sudden joy in being left alive alongside immanent death but also forgiveness, apology, the inclusion of us all. – Michael Daley
Bill Ransom was born in Puyallup, Washington, in 1945, and he began full-time employment at the age of eleven as an agricultural worker. He attended Washington State University on track and boxing scholarships, and the University of Puget Sound on a track scholarship.
From 1965 to 1970 Ransom worked as an expeditor on a Quick Engine Change team, building and repairing military and commercial jet engines. He studied American Minority Literature and Old and Middle English on an NDEA Title IV fellowship at the University of Nevada, Reno, then began a pilot project with the Poetry in the Schools program in Washington state. He founded and directed the popular Port Townsend Writers Conference for Centrum.
He was a firefighter, fire fighting basic training instructor, and CPR instructor for six years; and an Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Technician for ten years in Jefferson County, Washington. He volunteers with humanitarian groups in Central America.
His poetry has been nominated for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
Bill Ransom currently serves as Academic Dean of Curriculum at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.