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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