Kelly Scott Franklin

Kelly Scott Franklin

Associate Professor of English
Some say that we shall never know and that to the gods we are like the flies that the boys kill on a summer day, and some say, on the contrary, that the very sparrows do not lose a feather that has not been brushed away by the finger of God.
— Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for Kelly Scott Franklin


Ph.D. in English, the University of Iowa

M.A. in Spanish, Middlebury College

M.A. in English, the Catholic University of America

Selected Poems

“Verses” (from the Spanish of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer). Translations from Rimas, by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. Literary Matters 16.1 (Fall 2023).

“Shell Station, Tennessee.” Ekstasis Magazine Print Collection, vol. 10, 2023.

Stanzas I, IV, VII, and XV from Stanzas on the Death of His Father. Translations from Coplas por la muerte de su padre, by Jorge Manrique. Literary Matters 15.2 (Winter 2023).

“Education in the Humanities.” Local Culture 4.2 (Fall 2022).

“St. Joseph of Cupertino.” Local Culture 4.2 (Fall 2022).

“The Train of the Wounded.” Translation of “El tren de los heridos,” by Miguel Hernández. Jesus the Imagination, Vol. 6, 2022.

Cartography.” Poem awarded Honorable Mention for “Art Talks Back Poetry Contest,” Muskegon Museum of Art, April 28, 2022.

“Structure.” National Review LXXIV.4 March 7th, 2022.

“Failed Adoption, Michigan.” Ekstasis Magazine, June 22, 2021.

“ora et labora.” Ekphrastic Review Biweekly Ekphrastic Challenge, May 7, 2021.

“Trespass.” National Review LXXIII.6 April 5th, 2021.

“Civic Duty.” Driftwood Press 1.2 (Spring 2014): 13-14.

Selected Publications

“The long & short of it.” Review of Liberman, Anatoly. Take My Word for It: a Dictionary of English Idioms. The New Criterion 41.8, (April 2023).

“The Heart of a Nation.” Review of Lauck, Jon K. The Good Country: A History of the American Midwest 1800-1900. The Wall Street Journal. Nov. 25th, 2022.

“Headword Search.” Review of Duncan, Dennis. Index, a History of the: a Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age. The New Criterion 41.1, September 2021.

“Octopodes, Not Waitrons.” Review of Okrent, Arika. Highly Irregular: Why Tough, Through, and Dough Don’t Rhyme—And Other Oddities of the English Language. The New Criterion 40.4, December 2021.

“How to Leave Hatred Behind.” Review of Edmundson, Mark. Song of Ourselves. Law and Liberty. Oct. 1, 2021.

“The Restless Bones of Dante Alighieri.” Review of Raffa, Guy P. Dante’s Bones: How a Poet Invented Italy. Law and Liberty. July 23, 2020.

“Buoyant Hope and Sinking Despair.” The Wall Street Journal. June 12th, 2020.

“Before the Crash.” Review of Marcus, Greil. Under the Red White and Blue: Patriotism, Disenchantment and the Stubborn Myth of the Great Gatsby. National Review LXXII.10, June 1st, 2020.

“In Praise of Walt Whitman.” National Review Online. August 17, 2019.

“An American Bard.” Claremont Review of Books. XIX.3 Summer 2019.

“A House, A Curse and a Moral Dilemma.” The Wall Street Journal. May 24, 2019.

“The Battle Seen from Both Sides.” Review of Women’s War, by Stephanie McCurry. The Wall Street Journal. April 13-14, 2019.

“Rules for Christian Intellectuals, Part I.” The Catholic World Report. April 5, 2019.

“Master of the Frontier.” National Review LXX.18, (October 1, 2018).

“Peripatetic Ponderings.” Review of The Road to Walden by Kevin Dann. The Wall Street Journal. July 13, 2018.

Review of Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain. The Catholic World Report. June 29, 2018.

“‘I Should be Glad of Another Death’: T.S. Eliot’s timeless poem for Epiphany.” The Catholic World Report. January 5, 2018.

Review of Karen Karbiener, ed. Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman. Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 35 (2017).

“Much More Than a Glance at the Bad Old Days.” The Wall Street Journal. August 26-27, 2017.

“A Translation of Whitman Discovered in the 1912 Spanish Periodical Prometeo.” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 35 (2017).

“‘Harmonious Household’: Homer’s Odyssey on the Breakdown of Marriage and Family.” The Public Discourse. July 14, 2017.

Review of The Civil War Diary of Father James Sheeran, C.Ss.R.. Ed. Patrick J. Hayes. The Catholic World Report. June 14, 2017.

“Stand and Wait: Understanding Milton Anew.” Commonweal Magazine. January 26, 2017.

“Faith and Sci-Fi: The Christian Universe of A Wrinkle in Time.” The Catholic World Report. June 25, 2016.

“How and Why We Remember the Dead: A Memorial Day Lesson from Walt Whitman.” Public Discourse. May 27, 2016.

“Reading Flannery O’Connor for the First Time.” The Catholic World Report. May 20, 2016.

“‘Nicaraguan Words’: José Coronel, the Vanguardia, and Whitman’s ‘Language Experiment.’” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 34 (2016).

“‘Without Being Walt Whitman’: Vicente Huidobro, Whitman, and the Poetics of Sight,” Comparative American Studies 12.4 2014.

Interviews & Media

Interview, The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour,  Aug. 2023. [On “The Sphynx” in Melville’s Moby Dick].

Interview, The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour, March 2023 [On Dante’s Purgatorio].

Interview, The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour, Sept. 2022 [On Dante’s Inferno].

Interview, The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour, March 2022 [On Homer’s Odyssey].

Interview, The Radio Free Hillsdale Hour, June 2021.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Thornton Wilder’s The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Feb. 18th, 2020.

Episode, “Walt Whitman Served the Union . . . And the Confederate!” Our American Stories, August 20, 2019.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables. March 5, 2019.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. May 1, 2018.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. February 13, 2018.

Interview, Radio Free Hillsdale, “Professor Perspective,” December 15, 2017.

Interview, National Review Great Books Podcast, Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” September 26, 2017.

Hillsdale College Online Courses: Mark Twain. Fall 2017.

Interview, The Eric Metaxas Show, Homer’s Odyssey. July 31, 2017.

Courses Taught

ENG 104: Great Books in the Ancient and Medieval Traditions

ENG 105: Great Books in the British and American Traditions

COR 450: English Capstone

ENG 360: American Literature 1820-1890

ENG 370: Naturalism and Modernism, 1890-Present


ENG 402: Walt Whitman: Making an American Poetry

ENG 402: The Major Players: Hawthorne, Melville, and Poe

ENG 402: Modern American Novel

ENG 402: Whitman and Dickinson

ENG 597: Creative Writing Workshop in Poetry


I was born in Colorado, spent several years of my childhood in Latin America, and finally settled in northern Minnesota. I graduated with a B.A. in English and Spanish from Franciscan University of Steubenville. I have an M.A. in English from Catholic University of America and an M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College. In 2014, I graduated with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa.

I married my college sweetheart, Jessica, and we have a daughter named Gianna. We are devout Christians. We live in Hillsdale in an old house that we’re slowly fixing up. I play the ukulele and the guitar. I write for various magazines and newspapers on subjects of literature, culture, and faith. I am an avid fountain pen enthusiast and a fair-weather Kansas City Royals fan.