An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Poetry and its Reception History began as

an attempt to find out how much male homosexual poetry had been written in all

languages, either presently spoken or no longer spoken, for which either oral or

written records existed. This has consistently remained its aim throughout its

compilation which commenced fourteen years ago. The Encyclopedia consists of

6,303 entries and covers 243 languages (including two invented languages, Completo

and Esperanto).


Early in the research I decided not to deal with with lesbianism as I felt this should be

done by someone more directly concerned (though Sappho has an entry since

reference to her works by male poets may be a coded way of referring to

homosexuality in general). The Encyclopedia is thus a reading of world poetry,

including the vast little known corpus of oral poetry, for male homosexuality.


Within entries, cross references to other entries are marked by a star [*]. I follow this

practice in this Introduction: for example,*oral poetry, *Sappho. Abbreviations and

symbols used are listed in the separate list of Abbreviations. As regards spelling,

United States English is mainly followed (thus catalogue in British and Australian

English is spelt “catalog”, colour is “color”); however, British spellings are, of course,

used in the titles of British books and since the work was compiled in Australia,

which uses British spelling, both United States and British spellings may be present.


How to search for information


Searching may be done using Simple View or Full View. To initiate the search in

either view, first click the Search button.  In Simple View, searching may be carried

out by typing any word or words in the Name of entry field or Comment field (under

the Name of entry field) and any date in the Birth and Death fields (beside the Name

of entry field). In the Full View you may also type in a word, words or date

(depending on the field) in these fields and also in the Language, Country and

Category fields. Any word, words, phrases or date (or a combination) may be typed in

the Comment field and several fields can be searched at once.  To activate the search

press Enter or click the Continue button (in the column on the left of the layout).

Searching is also available in List View (in which multiple found entries may be

viewed). For a particular word or phrase always check the Name and Comment fields.

You may also search in more than one field.


To search for dates B.C. use a negative before the date e.g., “-1200” for 1200 B.C. All

entries are given a ranking of 1 to 4 in ascending order of importance in relation to

homosexual poetry. The Ranking field can be searched by typing one of the numbers

1 to 4 in it. A plus (+) or minus (-) after a date means after or before respectively.


Entries are fairly self explanatory but see the section Layout of an entry in the

Introduction for an explanation of how information has been inserted. For best use of

this Encyclopedia readers are urged to read the Introduction in full


For languages, countries and categories see the separate entries in the Encyclopedia

listing these (they are also listed in the Introduction under respective headings).

Clicking once on the box for Language, Country and Category in Full View will also

give a complete list of languages, countries and categories from which to choose;

clicking on a language, country or category puts it into the box as a search word.

Clicking in the box allows you to type in any word (or part of a word) you need to use

for a search—e.g., typing in "poe"  in Category will bring up all poets and poems.


Use a bound search,  (“ .......”) to search for a phrase or title: that is, double inverted

commas around the phrase. For example, a search of the Comment field using

Encyclopedia of Homosexuality” will find all entries with this exact phrase.


When several entries are found click on the icon of the exercise book in the left hand

column to see other entries: clicking on the lower page goes forward and on the upper

page goes back. Click the up or down arrows (or alternativley drag the square up or

down) if the scroll bar to the right is shaded (which indictates that there s more text on

the page than can be seen).




The work mainly lists poets whose poems deal with homosexuality; 3,497 entries deal

with poets. Where the author is unknown the work itself is given an entry (e.g., the

first surviving *long poem dealing with homosexuality, *Gilgamesh, and *epic poems

such as the *Mahabharata and *Ramayana). Where there is discussion of

homosexuality in poets’ lives by biographers (e.g. *Goethe) or their life makes this

clear (e.g. *Gennady Trifonov) this is noted.


I define *homosexuality following *The Encyclopedia of Homosexuality, edited by

*Wayne Dynes (New York, 1990, volume 1, 556)  as “sexual and/or strong

affectional relationships between persons of the same sex”, a definition based on the

work of the sexologist *Alfred C. Kinsey. The words *gay and homosexual are used



Besides poets and poems, the Encyclopedia has entries for those concerned with its

collection, editing, critical reception (in German receptionsgeschichte), translation,

dissemination and subsequent influence. It is not just concerned with poets and there

are entries for such crucial persons in the story of gay poetry as editors, biographers,

translators, literary historians and critics. The inclusion of a poet or person does not

mean he (or she, in the case of a female writer) has had sexual experiences of a

homosexual nature. It is extremely difficult to make any final comment on anyone’s

sexuality and in many cases this can only be known to the person himself: *Oscar

Wilde, for instance, one of the most famous homosexuals in history, married and had

a family. In some cases poets who have had homosexual experiences in a physical

sense but who have not published homosexual poems as such have entries.


David Dalby estimates some 10,000 languages are spoken in the world in The

Linguasphere Register of the World's Languages and Speech-Communities (London,

1997). The 243 languages covered in An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Poetry

are, however, less than approximately 3 % of languages presently spoken. As the

languages in the Encyclopedia include languages no longer spoken, the percentage of

languages included is even smaller when all known languages—estimated at up to

33,000—are included. Volume 10 of  the Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics,

edited by R. E. Asher (10 volumes, Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1994), lists these 33,000

known language names. There are also more *cultures than languages. For instance

English has many literary cultures—Australian, Canadian, Indian, New Zealand,

South African, for instance, as well as those of Great Britain and the United States.

Languages such as Spanish, Chinese and Arabic also have a large number of literary



In order to help readers locate and position languages there are entries discussing the

languages in each continent. *Australian languages, *African languages, *Asian

languages, *North American languages, *South American languages and *European

languages together cover the world. Some language groups also have entries: for

example, *Indian languages, *Iran Languages, *Turkestan languages. For an

indication of the range of entries in a major language see the Overview entry for that

language—for instance, *Overview—Sanskrit, *Overview—Aranda. Readers are

urged to read the Overview entries first to get an idea of the scope of entries for a

particular language or language family. There are 83 Overview entries which come to

48, 611 words  and amount to a history of male homosexual poetry in the 83

Overview languages.


The literatures of many little known languages are dealt with in Raymond Queneau,

editor, Histoire des littératures, 3 volumes (Paris: Gallimard, 1968–1978) which is

recommended for information on obscure languages; this work is part of the French

language Encyclopédie de la Pléiade which includes the Histoire des Religions

volumes (3 volumes, Paris, 1970–76) which are also helpful since religion has

frequently played a major part in the writing of gay poetry (sometimes in suppressing

it). Since the oral literatures of most of the world’s languages are not written down

there is a significant amount of *oral material; the *Overview—Papua New Guinea

languages, *Overview—Australian Aboriginal Languages and *Overview—African

languages entries give some idea of its scope. Research in these languages is

generally in its infancy. *Initiation ceremonies are an especial focus of interest in this

area but in many cultures the making of oral poetry is innate so a huge oral corpus

exists. The *Bible is the work recorded in the greatest number of languages,

translation of one book at least having occurred into over 2,200 languages with over

330 translations of the complete Bible being in existence.


*Broadsides (poems published in single sheets) are included (see *José Guadalupe

Posada, *Cesare Picchi) as are *Postcard poems and poem cards.


Historical and social context


The historical and social context and legal background have been found to be crucial

to the production (or suppression) of gay poetry and there are entries for individual

languages for the *historical and social background and for *law and *censorship

(which has greatly impeded the writing of gay poetry in many cultures). The *social

construction controversy, where it was alleged that homosexuality did not exist before

the invention of the word in Europe in German in 1869, deals with theoretical issues

raised by such historical and social forces.


Religion has had a major impact on the writing of gay poetry and  some eighty-four

entries deal with *religions (e.g., *Buddhism, *Christianity, *Islam). The French

language three volume Histoire des religions cited above, a comprehensive survey of

world *religions, is useful for finding information on little known religions.


A major effort has been put into recording *translations, since translation is extremely

important in making a poet’s work widely known: see, for example, the entries

*Anacreontea, *Cavafy, *Allen Ginsberg, *In Praise of Boys, *Iwatsutsuji, *Omar

Khayyam (pseud.), *Shakespeare and *Walt Whitman entries. Some 1,650 entries

refer to translation or translators. Since they have played an important part in making

the life and works of gay poets known, major biographers (e.g., *Peter Bumm, *John

E. Malmstad) and translators (e.g., *Henry Sullivan Garrett, *Nils Hallbeck) have

separate entries. Many gay poets (such as Nils Hallbeck) have also been translators.


There are entries for crucial *words used by homosexual poets, who have frequently

used coded or *indirect language (as in Chinese) sometimes known only to

homosexuals (e.g., the French poet *François Villon). *Hermetic and secret readings

also exist. Since these gay words are keys to an understanding of the poetry,

*dictionaries of gay slang, where the words may be found, are listed, as well as

important lexicographers of such words. Literary movements in which homosexual

poetry played a major role such as the *decadent movement, *romanticism and

*modernism have entries and there are entries for special groups—e.g., Greek

*Hellenistic poets, *Elizabethan English poets, *Eighteen-nineties period, *Gozan

literature —also called Five *Zen Temples literature —in Japanese and Chinese.

*Queer poetry— a recent phenomenon dating from 1990 using an earlier homosexual

label—is also covered as is *camp, a homosexual style involving parody.


There are special entries for poems dealing with such sexual practices as

*masturbation, *kissing, *anal sex, *bisexuality, *pederasty, *pedophilia,

*transvestitism, *sado-masochism and *bathhouses which it is felt will interest

readers of gay poetry. The entry *sex lists all entries dealing with this topic. Over one

hundred *tropes of gay poetry have separate entries (e.g., *Ganymede, *Hsu Zhu-yun,

*Cowboys). Knowledge of these tropes frequently allows a homosexual interpretation

to be made in a poem where it might otherwise not be noticed.


*Pseudonyms (which date from ancient Greek) are especially common at certain

periods of gay poetry and especially in cultures where male homosexual sex has been

illegal. These are sourced to the real name when this is known. Whenever a person

has a pseudonym, (pseud.) is placed after the pseudonym to distinguish it from the

real name: for instance, *Guillaume Apollinaire (pseud.), *Assotto Saint (pseud.).

This practice has been rigorously followed within the text of entries as well, the only

exception being Urdu poets where such pen-names were conventionally used by

traditional poets.


The Encyclopedia is a research tool with emphasis on future discoveries as well as

summarizing present knowledge. The works of many gay poets remain in manuscript

or, when published in books, are hard to access as few copies may be in libraries

(especially with the huge growth in gay poetry from the birth of *gay liberation in

1968 and especially in English where a huge volume of material exists). Hence there

are special entries for *libraries, gay *archives and *manuscripts which should guide

users to rare books and manuscripts. I have also tried to note at least one holding of a

very rare book (the *National Union Catalog of Pre-1956 Imprints, *British Library

General Catalogue to 1975 and *Internet library catalogs are other possibilities).


The resources and importance of major research libraries can never be emphasized

too much and the largest and most publically available research libraries, such as the

*Library of Congress, *British Library and *New York Public Library, whose

catalogs are now available on the *Internet, have separate entries. Retrospective

cataloging will mean that eventually the entire holdings of these catalogs will be

available in machine readable form and eventually on the *Internet. *Subject

cataloging has been found to be specially helpful. The vast library holdings in Russia

and China and many other countries, where library holdings are still on cards and

subject cataloging barely exists, will undoubtedly make further riches available when

access is easier by being in machine readable form.


In general, Thomas Mann, The Oxford Guide to Library Research (New York:

Oxford University Press, 1998) should be consulted by researchers; it was written by

a senior reference librarian at the *Library of Congress. James L. Harner, Literary

Research Guide, second edition (New York: Modern Language Association, 1993), is

a basic research tool for *European languages. For reference works, Robert Balay,

Guide to Reference Books, eleventh edition (Chicago: American Library

Association,1996), is the standard work and has been used in locating reference

works; previous editions edited by Eugene P. Sheehy are useful to their respective

dates of publication.


Criteria for inclusion


The main criteria for inclusion are, firstly, publication in a gay bibliography (in

existence since 1899 with the first volume of the German *Jahrbuch für sexuelle

Zwischenstufen edited by the pioneering German gay sexologist *Magnus

Hirschfeld). All poets appearing in gay bibliographies which list poetry and which are

known to the author have been given separate entries (the only exception being the

Japanese bibliography of *Iwata Jun’ichi which has not yet been translated into a

European language). Such works include bibliographies in English, Danish, Dutch,

German, Norwegian, French, Italian and Spanish.    


A second criteria is publication of a poet in gay *anthologies, in existence in Greek

since about 450 B.C., from the time of the *Theognis poet; 193 entries relate to such

poetry anthologies. All *anthologies have separate entries under the title of the work

(e.g. the Greek *Mousa Paidike—“muse of boy love”ca. 130 A.D., the first

surviving complete anthology of homosexual poems). All poets appearing in such

anthologies which have been sighted by me or, if the work has not been physically

sighted, whose contents pages are known, have been given entries.


Poets have also been entered who have been found by my own research to have

published books of gay poems. Such poets have been located by perusal of gay

*journals, by research in libraries and by the perusal of the catalogs of gay

*bookshops which are a major source of information —for instance *Prinz Eisenherz

bookshop in *Berlin, the largest gay bookshop in Europe. The English language

catalogs of *Elysian Fields were a basic source of information for the major

bibliographer to date, *Ian Young. 


Major gay journals publishing poetry have entries—for instance *Boston Gay Review,

*The James White Review, *Der Eigene  (in German), *Der Kreis  (German),

*Babilonia  (Italian) and *Gay, Slavyiene (Russian). The task of including every poet

published in every gay journal has proved to be impossible; in any case, many such

journals, having only survived in small runs even in libraries, are frequently

inaccessible. Such journals are being collated and indexed slowly as the work of

*Marita Keilson–Lauritz in indexing the German journal *Der Eigene and *Hubert

Kennedy with *Der Kreis show. An index, updated yearly, also exists for the major

English language *gay liberation journal *James White Review. Following the gay

bibliographic tradition (see, for instance, *Homosexuality: An Annotated

Bibliography) gay poems thought to be of major importance found in journals have

been listed (see the *Charles Ortleb entry for an example).


Because of their importance *bibliographies of homosexuality are given individual

entries (e.g., *An Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality, *The Male Homosexual

in Literature, *Leggere omosessuale). Cities have been important sites for the writing

and reception of gay poetry and these have separate entries (e.g., *New York,



Layout of an entry


An entry begins with a statement of the category (e.g., poet, anthologist, critic),

country and language relating to the entry. For instance, in the case of *Abru, his

entry starts “Poet from India writing in Urdu”. This is followed by the dates of birth

and death (if known) or the approximate date when the poet or entrant was writing.

The country of the poet is given as it is known in 2000 (see *countries of the world).

A negative appears before dates B. C. e.g, 1200 B. C. is "-1200 BC".


An attempt has been made to give by comment some indication of a poet’s

achievement in relation to male homosexuality. Because of problems of access to

texts and the wideranging language coverage this has proved impossible in every

case. Entries of major poets (e.g., *Verlaine) have discussion of the textual and

critical traditions in relation to their poetry and usually reference to biographies. Since

the works of gay poets have been frequently censored and sometimes deliberately not

published, even many years after their death, a major consideration is defining the text

of a gay poet. The text of *Arthur Rimbaud, for instance, was only satisfactorily

established recently and even a major gay poet such as *Michelangelo suffered from

this problem for over three hundred years.


Critical discussion is normally followed by a listing of translations of the poet’s main

gay works (see, for example, *Rumi, *Omar Khayyam, *Straton, *Basho); these

translation entries have been exhaustively compiled by reference to the *British

Library General Catalogue to 1975 and the *National Union Catalog of Pre-1956

Imprints supplemented by library computer catalogs (dating, in the case of the

*Library of Congress from 1968, but generally appearing from the early 1970s); these

are now being progressively being extended back as card catalogs are converted. In

many cases the translation entries are the most comprehensive translation records ever

for the poet concerned.


Entries usually end with reference to a standard biographical dictionary and/ or

encyclopedia, a gay bibliography or bibliographies, a gay poetry anthology or

anthologies and critical discussion of the poetry in homosexual terms (if this exists).

References to these dictionaries and works are arranged in approximate chronological

order of publication.


By reference to a biographical dictionary or encyclopedia (e.g. Cassell’s

Encyclopedia of World Literature, Encyclopaedia of Islam, Kodansha Encyclopedia

of Japan, Dizionario biographico degli Italiani, Oxford Classical Dictionary, Great

Soviet Encyclopedia, Contemporary Authors, Dictionary of Literary Biography)

readers can be guided to a scholarly discussion of the poet’s life and work, editions of

the poet’s text and critical comment. Some 450 reference works are cited: see the

separate list titled Works Cited. All works have been given by short title or by author

and title for easy location in libraries.


The bibliography, anthology and gay critical references in many cases constitute the

main reason or reasons for inclusion of the entry in the Encyclopedia and themselves

constitute a critical assessment of the poet in relation to homosexuality. In all cases

the reason for an entry is sourced where known; only a very few entries have no

known reference (they have been included because it was felt it was more important

to include them for future researchers than to omit them: see, for example,

*Bawdry—Romany, *Oral poems—Maltese, *Songs—Etruscan). In some cases—

especially oral poems relating to *initiation ceremonies—poems have not been

directly found but entries have been included to aid future researchers.


For foreign languages, standard transliteration systems as used by the Library of

Congress and the British Library have been used since the catalogs of these

institutions were relied on. In Chinese many entries have both the *Wade-Giles and

*Pin-Yin transliteration which make for confusion, the former being pre-1949 and the

latter used after 1949 in China (though Wade-Giles continues to be used by western

scholars). For Arabic the Encyclopedia of Islam has been followed, though variations

are common for Arabic names since Spanish, French, English, German and Italian

forms of *transliteration of Arabic exist; in addition, problems relating to “ibn”— son

of—(in Spanish “ben”, sometimes shortened to “b.”) also complicate names. For

Japanese, the Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan has been followed. Hungarian names

are given in the Hungarian form and similarly for Japanese names (in both Hungarian

and Japanese the surname is written first and entries here follow this practice without

a comma after the surname—as is the usual practice in these languages). Russian

names are generally given following the *Library of Congress. Other languages are

generally given in accordance with British Library and Library of Congress

transliteration rules. Because of these problems in foreign transliterations, it has not

been possible to maintain complete consistency and discrepancies will be noticed.


Categories included


Entries cover the following 76 categories: *addressee (of love poems), anthologist,

anthology (this refers usually to *anthologies of homosexual poetry and, in a few

cases, general anthologies with a significant number of poems which can be read as

homosexual poems, e.g., *Kokinshu), anthropologist (e.g. *Sir James Frazer),

*anthropology, *archive, archivist (e.g. *Alan Miller), *aural recording (only of poets

reciting their works: see *Allen Ginsberg), autobiographer, *bawdry, *bibliographer,

bibliography, biographer, *biography (of homosexual poets), bookseller (this refers

only to *booksellers of homosexual poetry: see *Bookshops), CD ROM (e.g., see

*”Let’s all be fairies”, *Poem Finder),*censorship, character (e.g. *Thyrsis), city,

collection (this refers to a collection of poetry in which one or more gay poems

appears, in contrast to a homosexual anthology where all poems are relevant; this

category generally relates only to such works previously listed in gay poetry

bibliographies—for instance those of *Ian Young), *collector (of gay poetry), concept

(e.g. *Colors), *critic, criticism, design (this refers to the design of books: see entries

beginning *Illustration and design, *Bookplates), diary (refers to the diary of a

relevant poet: see *Charles Brasch, *Charles Ives), *dictionary (this refers only to

specialized dictionaries of erotic words which may contain homosexual words which

could be used by poets), drama, dramatist (referring only to homosexual works for the

theater written in poetry), *editor (of the works of a poet who wrote homosexual

poetry), *film (of a gay poet or oral poetry—see *Manas epic; it also may refer to

anthropological films relating to oral poetry), *genre (this refers to poetic genres e.g.

*sonnet), *group (e.g. *George Kreis), historian and history (referring to historians of

gay literature as well as historians of gay history: for the former see entries beginning

*Critics and literary historians, for the latter see entries beginning *Historical and

social background), *illustration, illustrator (of gay poets and poems—e.g. *Aubrey

Beardsley), *journal (refers to periodicals or serial publications), *language, *law

(separate entries exist for major languages), letters (refers to the letters of a poet who

has an entry), lexicographer (persons who compiled dictionaries with gay words: e.g.,

*Vladimir Kozlovskii), *library, *lover, *manuscript (of a person who wrote a

relevant poem), *meter, *movement, *myth, novelist, *oral poem, patron (refers to a

person who supported a poet financially—for instance, *Emperors), *partner, period,

*philosopher, philosophy, place (refers to places having well documented associations

with gay poetry—e.g., *Sicily, *Capri), *poem, *poet, *pseudonym (entered in the

Category field as Pseud), *publisher, *religion, *scribe, *sex, sexologist, sexology

(see *Sexology and sexologists), *singer (see entries *Koroglu, *troubadours),

*sociology, *song, songwriter (excluding, however, contemporary pop music), tape

(refers to a tape recording of a poet reading his work: see *Walt Whitman as an

example), taste (refers to persons who influenced public taste in poetry—e.g.,

*Howard Moss), *translation, translator, *trope, university (e.g., *Harvard, *Oxford)

and *word.


These categories may be searched by typing the relevant category in the Category box

in Full Search. The Comment field can and should also be searched in either Simple

Search of Full search for the same word.


Languages included     


Languages in An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Poetry number 243.


These languages are: Acehnese, Afghan Dari, Afrikaans, Agenais, Ainu, Akarama,

Akha, Akkadian, Albanian, Amharic, Andamanese, Anmatjarra, Arabic, Aramaic,

Aranda, Armenian, Asmat, Assamese, Aymara, Azande, Azeri (i.e. Azerbaijani),

Badayuh, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahima, Balinese, Balonda, Baluchi, *Bantu, Baruya,

Basque, Batak, Bedamini, Belorussian (sometimes spelt Byelorussian), Bengali,

Berber, Bhutanese, Big Nambas, Brajabuli, Buginese, Bulgarian, Burmese,

Cambodian (also called Khmer), Canaanite languages, Caroline Islands language,

Catalan, Cebuano, Chaco, Chagatay, Cheyenne, Chinese, Chuvash, Completo, Coptic,

Creole, Czech (see also Slovak), Danish, Desyandhram, Dutch, Dyirbal, East Bay

language, Eblaite, Egyptian, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Ethiopic, Etoro, Etruscan,

Faroese, Finnish, Flemish, Foi, French, Frisian, Friulian, Fulani, Gaelic (sometimes

called scots Gaelic—see *Gaelic languages), Galician, Ganda, Gebusi, Georgian,

German, Gothic, Greek, Guarani, Gujarati, Haitian, Hausa, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hindi,

Hittite, Hungarian, Hurrian, Iatmul, Iban Dayak, Ibibio, Icelandic (see: Norse), Ifalik,

Igbo, Ijaw, Inuit, Iqwaye, Irish (sometimes called Irish Gaelic—see *Gaelic

languages), Italian, Japanese, Jat, Javanese (also called Kawi or Kavi), Kaguru,

Kaluli, Kannada, Karakalpak, Kashmiri, Kayan, Kazakh, Keraki, Kimam, Kimberley

languages, Kirghiz, Kiwai, Kolopom, Korean, Kukatja, Kurdish, Kwakiutl, Laotian,

Latin, Latvian (sometimes called Lettish), Lithuanian, Luo, Macedonian, Maithili

(i.e., Bihari), Makassan, Makiritare, Malagasy, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Mambai,

Manchu, Mandekan, Maori, Marathi, Marind-Anim, Marquesan language, Mayan,

Mohave, Mongo, Mongolian, Montenegrin, Murngin, Náhuatl, Navajo, Nepalese,

Ngadju Daya, Norse, Norwegian, Nubian, Nuer, Nyanga, Oenpelli language, Old

Church Slavonic, Olo Dusun, Olo Nyadju, Onabasulu, Oriya, Pali, Pashto, Pawnee,

Persian, Phoenician, Pilbara languages, Pintubi, Polish, Portuguese, Provençal,

Punjabi, Quechua, Rajasthani, Rapa Nui, Romanian (i. e. Rumanian, as formerly

spelt), Romany, Russian, Sambal, Sambian, Samoan, Sanskrit, Sant Brasan, Sepik

languages, Serbo-Croat (used for Serbian and Croatian), Shan, Shona, Sindhi,

Sinhalese, Slovak (see also Czech), Slovenian, Sogdian, Somali, Sorbian (alternate

names: Wendic or Lusatian), Sotho, Spanish, Sumerian, Sundanese, Swahili,

Swedish, Syrian, Tagalog, Tahitian, Tajik, Tamil, Tatar, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan,

Tikopia, Tiwi, Tongan, Toraja, Trobriand Islands language, Tswana, Tupi, Turkish,

Turkmen, Uighur, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese, Walpiri, Warramunga,

Welsh, Winnebago, Wintu, Wudaabe, Xhosa, Yagwoia, Yangoru Boiken, Yaroinga,

Yiddish, Yirrkala, Yokut, Yoruba, Zulu, Zuni.


It will be noted that some extinct languages—for example Akkadian, Sumerian,

Hittite, Egyptian, Etruscan—are included. As already discussed in the Description

section above, up to 33,000 language names are known throughout human history.


These languages may be searched by typing the relevant language in the Language

box in Full Search. The Comment field can and should also be searched in either

Simple Search or Full search for the same word.  


Very good maps of the world’s languages are available in Liana Lupus, Languages of

the World (New York, 1992), pp. 81–109 and in Barbara F. Grimes, Ethnologue:

languages of the world (thirteenth edition, Dallas, 1996). See the entry *Languages of

the world for further information.


Countries included


One hundred and eighteen countries are referred to throughout the Encyclopedia.

They are: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia,

Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina,

Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China,

Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo,

Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany,

Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Holy See (sometimes called *Vatican City)

Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan,

Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirghizstan (alternative spelling: Kyrgyzstan), Korea

(this refers to both North Korea and South Korea), Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya,

Lithuania, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco,

Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan,

Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saint

Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia),

Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), Sudan,

Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad

and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom (also

called Great Britain, the full name being United Kingdom of Great Britain), United

States of America, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuala, Vietnam, Yemen,

Zimbabwe. For the countries of the former Yugoslavia see Croatia, Bosnia and

Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro.


These countries may be searched by typing the relevant country in the Country box in

Full Search; however, use UK for the United Kingdom and US for the United States.

The Comment field can and should also be searched in either Simple Search of Full

search for the same word though here use Great Britain and United States for these



Further information on countries can be found in the entry *Countries of the world in

the Encyclopedia. The United States State Department recorded 190 independent

states in the world as at 21 January 2000 with which it maintains diplomatic relations.

The actual number of countries is more than this since some countries (e.g. Taiwan)

are not included; there are also dependent states and territories. The most up to date

list, published annually, is in the Britannica Book of the Year.


Scope of the work


The number of poet entries in the Encyclopedia far surpasses previous works in every

known language both by number and volume. The most  comprehensive bibliography

in terms of languages, *Vern L. Bullough, *Dorr Legg, *Barrett W. Elcano and

*James Kepner's *An Annotated Bibliography of Homosexuality (1976), has about

700 poetry entries, referring to about 400 different poets (including lesbians). *Ian

Young's The Male Homosexual in Literature, second edition (1982), which lists

novelists and dramatists as well as poets, has approximately 400 poet entries of

English poets or translations of poets into English (non English poets and translations

being excluded). This Encyclopedia has 3,845 entries dealing with poets or poems.

2,584 entries refer to English language poets or poems or involve translation of a poet

or poem into English. English is thus by far the largest recorded language in the work.


With the exception of *Ernest Günther Welter, compiler of the first comprehensive

German gay bibliography, *bibliographers of gay poetry have not listed *editors,

*critics, *biographers, literary historians, and translators. This Encyclopedia seeks to

give them due credit for the place they have played in preserving and passing on gay



The Internet and the Encyclopedia


Because of the growth of the Internet, users are urged to check the *Internet for

further information on a particular entry. More and more information is appearing

daily. Library catalogs of large research *libraries which are now on the Internet

should be checked and *subject checking in these libraries is very helpful. Gay sites

such as the excellent People with a History are good starting points.


Libraries and archives used


Most of the research was done in Fisher Library, the main library of the University of

Sydney, though I have also relied on the State Library of New South Wales, *Sydney,

especially for interlibrary loans. Other major research libraries used include the

following: in Australia, the University of New South Wales Library, *Sydney,

National Library of Australia, *Canberra, Menzies Library, Australian National

University, Canberra, University of Melbourne Library, *Melbourne, State Library of

Victoria, Melbourne, State Library of South Australia, *Adelaide.


In the United States—which contains some of the richest and most accessible libraries

in the world and where *subject cataloging is a major help in finding works—the

following were used: *Library of Congress, *Washington, Folger Library,

Washington, *New York Public Library, *New York, Boston Public Library,

*Boston, and the the libraries of the Universities of Columbia, *New York, *Harvard

University, Cambridge, in greater Boston (the largest academic library in the United

States and indeed the world), *Cornell University, Ithaca (including the Institute of

Human Sexuality), *Yale University, New Haven, *Princeton University Library,

Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, *Philadelphia, University of California

Berkeley and Westwood, *Los Angeles, campuses, University of Chicago, Newberry

Library (*Chicago), University of Illinois at Ann Arbor, the Poetry Room of the

*State University of New York at Buffalo (especially rich in twentieth century

English language poetry), the *San Francisco Public Library, the library of the

*Kinsey Institute for Sex Research, Indiana, Bloomington, the library of the New

York Academy of Medicine, New York and the United States National Library of

Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland.


In Europe the following libraries were used: the *British Library, *London,

University of London, University of *Oxford, the Sheffield City Library (holder of

the *Edward Carpenter papers), *Bibliothèque Nationale, *Paris, Biblioteca Nacional

de España, *Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de Lisboa (National Library of Portugal) in

*Lisbon, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, *Berlin (now part of the

Deutsche Bibliothek), Deutsche Bibliothek, *Leipzig, Royal Library, Den Haag,

National Library, Stockholm, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense Milan, Biblioteca

Nazionale Centrale, *Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, *Rome, town library

*Capri, National Library, Budapest, Saltykov-Shchedrin Library, *St Petersburg, and

the Lenin Library, *Moscow.


In east Asia, the National Library of Thailand, Bangkok, National Library, Hanoi, and

the National Central Library, Taipei were consulted. In South America, the National

Library of Uruguay, Montevideo, the University Library at the University of Brasilia

and Biblioteca Nacional, *Buenos Aires were used. In New Zealand, the New

Zealand National Library, holder of the the *Lesbian and Gay Archives of New

Zealand, the only gay and lesbian archive to enter a national library collection, was



As well as major research libraries, experts have been consulted in Universities in

Australia, Europe, Asia, north and southern Africa, central and south America and the

United States and Canada; these experts are usually acknowledged within entries.

Some research dates from 1987 with a visit to Egypt and Jordan. I spent a year of

intensive research on the Encyclopedia in Europe and the United States 1988–89,

involving discussion with experts in the School of Oriental and African Studies

(SOAS) in London, and followed this up five years later in 1994–95 with eight

months in east and south Asia, Europe (including eastern Europe and Russia), the

United States, Canada and New Zealand. Six weeks in South America in 1996 saw

the inclusion of further material. Altogether I have visited some 59 countries. Paper

files on entries number 2,710.


Research has also been done in major collections of erotica accessible to the public:

the *Private Case in the *British Library, London, the *Enfer in the *Bibliothèque

Nationale, *Paris, the *Kinsey Institute Library (at the University of Indiana,

Bloomington), the *Deane Erotica (University of Sydney, Sydney), the Bodleian

Library,*Oxford, and the *Labadie Collection, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

While unfortunately not rich in homosexual material these collections nevertheless

contain some unique works.


Gay archives used


The recent emergence of gay archives and libraries has been found to be of

outstanding importance in preserving gay journals and books and gay culture. Much

material in them awaits research. I have relied heavily on the *Canadian Gay

Archives, *Toronto, *Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives,* Melbourne, Aids

Council of South Australia Library, Adelaide, *Hall Carpenter Archives, University

of London,  *Homodok Centrum, *Amsterdam, *Forbundet af 48, Copenhagen,

*Institut Lambda, Barcelona, *Schwüles Museum and Library, Berlin, Bologna gay

archives, *Bologna, Milan gay archives, Milan, *One Institute Library, Los Angeles

(now One/IGLA), *Gerber Hart Library, Chicago. *Quatrefoil Library, Minneapolis,

the archive of Marcelo Ferreyra, *Buenos Aires and  the *Lesbian and Gay Archives

of New Zealand. These archives are all included either under the title or referred to

under the city of domicile. Many now have sites on the *Internet.


There has been a similar blooming of bookshops specializing in a wide range of gay

material—literary, artistic, sociological, historical and biographical. Many produce

informative listings and catalogs, now also increasingly available on the *Internet. I

have not only consulted these but visited as many gay bookshops as possible in

Australia, Europe, the United States and Canada as well as ordinary bookshops in

these countries.




Poets, scholars and collectors consulted in Australia include  *John Willis, *Keith

Howes, Anthony Bradley, Graham Carberry, Dr. Bruce Gardiner, Garry

Wotherspoon, Dr. *Robert Aldrich, Robert French, Dr. *Gary Simes, Dr. Estelle

Dryland, Professor R. Ebeid, Professor Margaret Clunies Ross, the late Professor

Bernard Martin, Professor G. A. Wilkes, Dr. Beverly Sherry, Dr. Ken Goodwin,

*Javant Biarujia and *Denis Gallagher; in the United States, the late *Dorr Legg,

Professor *Wayne Dynes, Professor *William A. Percy, the late *Warren Johansson

(pseud.), Professor *Charley Shively, Professor Claude Summers; in Great Britain,

*Anthony Reid (author of the most wide-ranging anthology of gay poetry ever, *The

Eternal Flame, still little known unfortunately and in hardly any libraries), *Ivor

Treby and *Timothy d’Arch Smith; in the Netherlands, *Gert Hekma and the late

*Edward Brongersma; in France, *Claude Courouve and the late *Gershon Legman;

in Germany, *Manfred Herzer and *Arno Schmitt; in Italy, *Giovanni dall’Orto; in

South Africa, *Stephen Gray; in Brazil, *João Silverio Trevisan. I express sincere

thanks to all the above. *Ian Young has been especially helpful. Other persons are

mentioned in individual entries.


I especially thank many of the staff of the University of Sydney, the Australian

National University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of

London, and *Harvard University who were consulted on difficult issues and

sometimes suggested poets to examine. I apologize for the inadvertent omissions of

any names of those who have helped with information. My research has extended

over so long a period and in so many countries that inevitably I fear some persons

who helped have not been thanked.


Special thank you to librarians and gay books shops


I express my special thanks to the librarians of the above listed institutions, all of

whom gave wonderful assistance, often at short notice, and frequently involving

material difficult to access. Without them this work would not have been possible. I

am particularly grateful to the staff at the reference desks of the University of Sydney

and State Library of New South Wales. The staff at two gay bookshops, *Prinz

Eisenherz in *Berlin and *Glad Day Books in *Toronto, have been especially helpful.

Gay bookshops and general bookshops frequently contain little known works which

have not gotten into libraries.


I also wish to thank Louise Campbell for proofing the work. A grant from the

Gavemer Foundation is gratefully acknowledged to defray some of the proofing costs.


This work would not be possible without the efforts of people over some 4,000 years

in collecting and saving gay poetry, including poems composed orally. The

Encyclopedia is also the product of a particular city, Sydney, Australia, in the 1980s

and 1990s. It is hoped it will help dispel some of the prejudice surrounding

homosexuality and lead to healthier attitudes to sexuality overall.


Paul Knobel


17 July 2002



© Paul Knobel 2002