Thursday, December 27, 2007
CULLEN, COUNTEE One of the most significant figures in the Harlem Renaissance, Countee Cullen (1903-1946) was both a novelist and poet. Educated at New York University (B.A., 1925) and Harvard (M.A., 1926), Cullen was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1927. Following two years of study and writing in France, he returned to the United States where he accepted a teaching position in New York City. Although Cullen published his novel and several books of poetry after 1930, his most significant poetic offerings came during the 1920's. While still a student at NYU, he published his first volume of poems, Color (1925). The delicate and gentle lyrics of Color did not go unnoticed. Acclaimed by the critics, Cullen received the Harmon Foundation's first gold medal for literature two years later. In the meantime, he published The Ballad of the Brown Girl (1927) and Copper Sun (1927), with his Black Christ appearing in 1929.