Bill Ransom was born in Puyallup, Washington, in 1945 and began employment at the age of eleven as a farmworker, then cannery worker, fast-food broiler and prep cook in the South Shore Room of Harrah’s Tahoe. He attended Washington State University on track and boxing scholarships and the University of Puget Sound on a track scholarship. Bill received his BA in Sociology and English Education from the University of Washington, and his MA in English and Folklore from Utah State University.
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. Bill returned to Washington state to begin an NEA pilot project with the Artists-in-the-Schools program. He founded and directed the popular Port Townsend Writers’ Conference and Youth Programs for Centrum and appeared in two feature films: An Officer and a Gentleman and The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (CBS).
Bill was a firefighter, firefighting basic training instructor, CPR instructor and an Advanced Life Support Emergency Medical Technician in Jefferson County, Washington. He volunteered with humanitarian groups in the civil wars of Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua providing medical care, catching the occasional birth and instructing isolated communities in firefighting/trauma care.
He received fellowships from the NEA in both Poetry and Fiction. Bill retired after six years as Dean of Curriculum at The Evergreen State College and lives in Grayland, Washington between the Pacific Ocean and the cranberry bogs.