Warren, Robert Penn (1905–1989) By Kidd, Stacy
Robert Penn Warren was a renowned poet, novelist, critic and educator. He matriculated to Vanderbilt University in 1921, where, with Allen Tate (1899–1979) and John Crowe Ransom (1888–1974), he became part of The Fugitives, a group of poets named for the journal they published. Warren earned a master’s degree at the University of California and accepted a Rhodes Scholarship to study at New College, Oxford University. Here, he began to pursue the close readings of literary texts that eventually became associated with New Criticism: a focus on the text itself without reference to the biography of the writer or the historical circumstances of the text’s composition or reception.