Ransom received her B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University. She holds a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing, as well as a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature, from New York University.
From 1984—89 she was a New York Daily News national/international editor. She was also an editor for the San Juan Star. In 1990 she held a NYU fellowship in comparative literature, 1988—90. From 1997—2002 she was professor of creative writing at Rutgers and New York University. In 2004 she was distinguished poet in residence at Saint Mary’s College of California.
She wrote a column for Playboy.
She has lived in Madrid, Paris, Indiana, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Boston and New York City. She currently lives in San Francisco.