Cullen, Countee [key], 1903–46, American poet, b. New York City, grad. New York Univ. 1925, M.A. Harvard, 1926. A major writer of the Harlem Renaissance—a flowering of black artistic and literary talent in the 1920s—Cullen wrote poetry inspired by American black life. His technique was conventional, modeled on that of John Keats, and his mood passed from racial pride and optimism in the 1920s to sadness and disappointment in the 1930s. Among his volumes of verse are Color (1925), Copper Sun (1927), The Ballad of the Brown Girl (1927), and On These I Stand (1947).
See biographies by A. R. Chucard (1984) and C. Molesworth (2012); bibliography by M. Penny (1971).
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