Wesley Curtwright

Wesley Curtwright was born in Brunswick, Georgia, on November 30, 1910. After his father’s death in 1913, Curtwright lived in various towns around the U.S. and attended numerous schools before his family settled in New York City, where Cartwright attended Harlem Academy. 

While he was still a student, Curtwright published work in the magazines Opportunity and The Messenger. When he was seventeen, one of his poems was anthologized in Caroling Dusk (Harper & Brothers, 1917), edited by Countee Cullen. Curtwright’s short poem “Heart of the Woods” was anthologized in The Poetry of the Negro, 1746–1970 (Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1970) edited by Arna Bontemps and Langston Hughes.

During adulthood, Curtwright was a contributing author to the Federal Writers’ Project, established by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935. Alongside other writers, such as Ralph Ellison and Claude McKay, Curtwright contributed essays on the history and culture of African Americans in the U.S. as well as accounts of the community’s contributions to the arts.