Jean Toomer (1894–1967) was an American poet and novelist, and an important figure of the Harlem Renaissance. He was born in Washington, DC. Literature was his first love and he regularly
contributed avant garde poetry and short stories to such magazines as Dial,
Broom, Secession, Double Dealer, and Little Review. After a literary
apprenticeship in New York, Toomer taught school in rural Georgia. His experiences there led to the writing of his seminal novel, Cane.