Countee Cullen As A Mysterious Figure Essay

2217 Words Apr 19th, 2016 null Page
Countee Porter Cullen was born on May 30, 1903. Poet, anthologist, novelist, translator, children 's writer, and playwright, Countee Cullen is something of a mysterious figure. His exact place of birth is unknown, though some sources state that he may have been born in Louisville, Kentucky, or Baltimore or New York City. Having lost his parents and brother, it is believed he was raised by his paternal grandmother until her death during his teen years. He was then taken in by Carolyn Belle and Reverend Frederick A. Although the adoption was never legalized, Cullen became deeply devoted to his new parents. Provided with a sense of physical and emotional security, he quickly adapted to the quiet religious atmosphere of “Mother Salem.” In his adoptive father’s library, Cullen began to explore the world of books and literature.
Though his early years were spent in rigorous study, Cullen enjoyed the family’s summer trips to Maryland and New Jersey. From 1918-1921, Cullen attended DeWitt Clinton High School, where he edited the school newspaper and literary magazine and won a city-wide poetry competition. A popular student, Cullen served as class vice president, treasurer of the Inter-High School Poetry Association, and was a member of the debating society. He went on to attend New York University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1925. Cullen displayed his talent early; already in high school he was writing poetry, and in his sophomore year at NYU he was awarded second prize…

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