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Countee Cullen Chronology

1903    Countee Cullen born in Louisville, Kentucky, according to Mrs. Ida Mae Cullen, his widow. (Cullen sometimes claimed New York as his birthplace; still other testimony had it as Baltimore.)

1918    Adopted by the Reverend and Mrs. Frederick A. Cullen of the Salem Methodist Episcopal Church in Harlem, New York City. Enters DeWitt Clinton High School, New York City.

1922    Enters New York University uptown.

1923    Wins second prize in national Witter Bynner Poetry Contest for undergraduates for "The Ballad of the Brown Girl.

1924    Wins first honorable mention in the Witter Bynner Poetry Contest for "Spirit Birth."

1925    Elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Wins first prize in Witter Bynner Poetry Contest for unrecorded poems; Poetry magazine's  John Reed Memorial Prize for "Threnody for a Brown Girl"; second prize in the Poetry Contest of Palm for "Wisdom     Cometh with the Years"; the Amy Spingarn Award of Crisis for "Two Moods of Love"; and second prize in Opportunity's first poetry contest for "To One Who Said Me Nay." Enters Harvard University. Publishes Color.

1926    Receives Master of Arts degree from Harvard. Wins second prize in Crisis contest for "Thoughts in a Zoo." Begins to write column "The Dark Tower" for Opportunity and becomes assistant editor.

1927    Copper Sun; Ballad of the Brown Girl; and Caroling Dusk, a collection of poems by black poets.

1928    Marries Nina Yolande DuBois, daughter of W. E. B. DuBois. Receives Guggenheim Fellowship to write poetry in France. Leaves staff of Opportunity.

1929    The Black Christ and Otber Poems.

1930    Divorced by Yolande Cullen.

1932    One Way to Heaven.

1934    Teaches English and French at Frederick Douglass Junior High School, New York City.

1935    The Medea and Some Poems.

1940    Marries Ida Mae Roberson. The Lost Zoo.

1942    My Lives and How I Lost Them.

1946    "The Third Fourth of July; a one-act play," written with Owen Dodson, published in Theatre Arts. Dies of uremic poisoning while involved in controversy over St. Louis Woman, a musical on which he collaborated with Arna Bontemps.

1947    On These I Stand: An Anthology of the Best Poems of Countee Cullen (posthumous).

From Alan R. Shucard. Countee Cullen. Boston: Twayne, 1984.

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