Hoshang Merchant

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Hoshang Dinshaw Merchant (born 1947) is a poet from India. Most of his writings are in English.

Early years and education[edit]

Hoshang Merchant was born in 1947 to a Zoroastrian business-family in Mumbai, India. On his mother’s side he descends from a line of teachers and preachers. Merchant was educated at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. He has a Masters from Occidental College, Los Angeles. Thereafter at Purdue, he studied Renaissance and Modernism, and for his PhD (1981), wrote a dissertation on Anaïs Nin. He has lived and taught in Heidelberg, Jerusalem and Iran where he was exposed to various radical movements of the Left.[1] Merchant is openly gay.[2]

Teacher, Poet and Critic[edit]

Since the mid-80s, Hoshang Merchant has made his home in Hyderabad, where he teaches English at University of Hyderabad.[3]

He has written 13 books of poetry, and two critical studies. He edited India's first gay anthology Yaraana: Gay Writing from India.



  • Flower to Flame (1989, Delhi: Rupa & Co.)
  • Stone to Fruit (1989, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Yusuf in Memphis (1991, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Hotel Golkonda: Poems 1991 (1992, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • The Home, the Friend and the World (1995, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Jonah and the Whale (1995, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Love's Permission (1996, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • The Heart in Hiding (1996, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • The Birdless Cage (1997, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Talking to the Djinns (1997, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Selected Poems (1999, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Bellagio Blues (2004, Hyderabad: Otherwise Books, Spark-India)
  • Homage to Jibanananda Das (2005, Contemporary World Poetry Series, London: Aark Arts)

Critical studies[edit]

  • In-discretions: Anaïs Nin (1990, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
  • Forbidden Sex, Forbidden Texts (2008, Delhi: Routledge)


  • Yaarana: Gay Writing from India (1999, New Delhi: Penguin)


  1. ^ [1]"Hoshang Merchant - The Poetry of Jalwah" by Aparajita Roy Sinha, Channel6magazine.com, accessed October 27, 2009
  2. ^ http://www.outlookindia.com/article.aspx?212935
  3. ^ [2]"Sar Pe Lal Topi Parsi" by Hoshang Merchant, Outlook.com, 20 August 2001, accessed October 27, 2009

External links[edit]