Chuck Sullivan was born Charles Christopher Sullivan in New York City in 1943 to a working class Irish Catholic family. His father was a NYC policeman and cab driver who left the family and the troubled marriage when Chuck was nine years old. Chuck moved with his mother and sister to his grandparent's apartment in Manhattan, who, believing in the potential of this bright and precocious grandchild, sent him to the finest Catholic schools. Chuck graduated from Archbishop Molloy High School in NYC with academic honors, and was recruited by the legendary Al McGuire for a basketball scholarship at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina.
After graduating from college, he spent a year as a VISTA volunteer, working with migrant laborers in Florida and West Virginia. Marriage, a son and daughter then settled Chuck for nine years at Bishop McGuinness High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as Varsity Basketball Coach/Athletic Director and Chairman of the department of Humanities.
Chuck completed his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina/Greensboro, and after his poetry appeared in Esquire magazine, his first book of poems, Vanishing Species, was published by Red Clay Books in 1975. Following that was A Catechism of Hearts, A Dream of Lions, The Juggler on the Radio, Longing for the Harmonies, and Alphabet of Grace. He is currently working on the next collection, Zen Matchbox.
In 1980, A Catechism of Hearts won South Carolina's Best Poetry Book of the year, and Longing for the Harmonies (St. Andrews Press, 1992), received North Carolina Poetry Council’s best book award for 1992. In 1989, PBS filmed and broadcast a documentary about Chuck, also titled Longing for the Harmonies. His poetry has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, Texas Quarterly, Southern Poetry Review, Carolina Quarterly, International Poetry Review, and numerous other publications.
In 1996 Chuck also co-founded Moving Poets Theatre of Dance in 1996, a professional performing arts company, with Dancer/Choreographer Till Schmidt-Rimplerand and Actor/Director Randell Haynes. He wrote the text for the theatre group's productions of Dracula, Frankenstein, Romeo & Juliet, and MacBeth. Two plays were written but have not been produced.
A gifted educator, Chuck was the NEA Poet-in-Residence at Butler University in Indiana, and is currently Poet-in- Residence in North and South Carolina. Every summer since 1979, Chuck teaches poetry and philosophy at North Carolina Governor’s School East, where he is chairman of the English Department.