Jean Toomer was an African American poet and novelist commonly associated with the Harlem Renaissance, though he actively resisted the association and modernism. His first book Cane, published in 1923, is considered by many to be his most significant. He continued to write poetry, short stories and essays.
After his second marriage in 1934, he moved from New York to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where he became a member of the Religious Society of Friends (also known as Quakers) and retired from public life. His papers are held by the Beinecke Rare Book Library at Yale University.