Gregory Woods

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Gregory Woods
Born 1953
Education The Oratory School
Alma mater University of East Anglia
Occupation Academic, poet

Gregory Woods (born in 1953 in Egypt) is a British poet. He was the Chair in Gay and Lesbian Studies at Nottingham Trent University from 1998 to 2013. He is the author of five books of literary and LGBT Studies criticism, and seven poetry collections.

Early life[edit]

Gregory Woods was born in 1953 in Egypt. He grew up in Ghana. He was educated at The Oratory School and the University of East Anglia (BA English and American Literature, 1974; MA Modern Literature, 1975; PhD, 1983; DLitt, 2005).


Woods began his teaching career at the University of Salerno (1980-1984). From 1990 to 2013 he worked at Nottingham Trent University, where, in 1998, he was appointed to a Chair in Gay and Lesbian Studies, the first such appointment in the United Kingdom.[1] On retirement, he was duly appointed Emeritus Professor of Gay and Lesbian Studies. Woods' main areas of interest include twentieth-century gay and lesbian literature; post-war gay and lesbian film and cultural studies; and the AIDS epidemic. In addition to his poetry collections, he is the author of a number of critical books, including Articulate Flesh: Male Homo-eroticism and Modern Poetry (1987), A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition (1998), and Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World (2016), all from Yale University Press. He has been a member of the board of directors of East Midlands Arts, an artistic assessor for Arts Council England, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the English Association. He has been awarded two Hawthornden Fellowships (1999, 2008).

Woods writes in free verse, syllabics and metre. Thom Gunn wrote of the poems in his first collection: 'I admired them especially for their technical virtuosity, in that it was technique completely used, never for the sake of cleverness but as a component of feeling... taken together, they constitute a handbook of desire; separately, each is an exquisite insight, rapid and rich. The predominant tone is of a kind of delighted astonishment that mere sensuality can be so meaningful.' Woods' subject matter is by no means limited to gay themes and his work is characterised by classical and literary allusions, a dry cynicism and waspish humour. In the Times Literary Supplement (October 16, 1992), Neil Powell wrote, 'The overwhelming impression of We Have the Melon remains that of frankly sexual joyousness matched by serious literary intelligence, a rare combination and a reassuring one.'

Among many literary-critical publications, Woods wrote the introduction for the 2013 Valancourt Books edition of A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson.[2][3]


  • Articulate Flesh: Male Homo-eroticism and Modern Poetry (London & New Haven: Yale University Press, 1987)
  • This Is No Book: A Gay Reader (Nottingham: Mushroom Books, 1994)
  • A History of Gay Literature: The Male Tradition (London & New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998)
  • Homintern: How Gay Culture Liberated the Modern World (London & New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016)
  • The Myth of the Last Taboo: Queer Subcultural Studies (Nottingham: Trent Editions, 2016)


  • We Have the Melon (Manchester: Carcanet, 1992)
  • May I Say Nothing (Manchester: Carcanet, 1998)
  • The District Commissioner's Dreams (Manchester: Carcanet, 2002)
  • Quidnunc (Manchester: Carcanet, 2007)
  • An Ordinary Dog (Manchester: Carcanet, 2011)
  • Very Soon I Shall Know (Nottingham: Shoestring, 2012)
  • Art in Heaven (Littleover, Derby: Sow's Ear, 2015)


  1. ^ Griffiths, Robin (2006), British Queer Cinema, Routledge, p. xi, ISBN 0-415-30779-1 
  2. ^ Cordova, Steven (June 26, 2014). "A Room in Chelsea Square by Michael Nelson". Lambda Literary. Retrieved September 7, 2014. 
  3. ^ Woods, Gregory (January 29, 2014). "Introduction to A Room in Chelsea Square". Retrieved September 7, 2014. 

External links[edit]