Bernice “Bee” Cullinan grew up in Ohio. She worked with young students for fifteen years, teaching them how to read, which began a lifelong interest and career in how children learn to read and write.
Earning her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees from Ohio State University, Bee stayed to become the study director for the Critical Reading Project as well as an assistant professor.
She moved to New York City, where she taught at New York University for thirty years as associate and full professor, retiring as emeritus professor of reading.
Bee was the author of more than 40 books, including a textbook she co-authored with Lee Galda and others, Literature and the Child. She co-edited, with Bonnie L. Kunzel and Deborah A. Wooten, The Continuum Encyclopedia of Young Adult Literature. Others will be familiar with The Continuum Encyclopedia of Children’s Literature, co-edited with Diane G. Person, and A Jar of Tiny Stars, an anthology of poetry voted as “best” by children.
She was president of the International Reading Association and received the 2003 Outstanding Educator Award from the National Council of Teachers of English.
She served as editor-in-chief of the only US publishing imprint dedicated to poetry, Wordsong, at Boyds Mills Press.
Ms. Cullinan passed away on February 4, 2015, having given the world a good deal of reading research and a focal point for writing and studying poetry.