Early years and education
Hoshang Merchant was born in 1947 to a working class Zoroastrian family in Mumbai, India. On his mother’s side he descends from a line of teachers and preachers. Merchant was educated at Xavier's Lads Academy and 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. Merchant is openly gay.
Since leaving Purdue in 1975, Merchant has attended the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Centre, Massachusetts, and lived and taught in Heidelberg, Iran and Jerusalem where he was exposed to various radical student movements of the Left. He has studied Buddhism at the Tibetan Library at Dharamsala, north India, as well as Islam in Iran and Palestine. Writers Workshop in Kolkatta, India has published seventeen books of his poetry since 1989. The Workshop also is bringing out his collected works. Rupa and Co. published his book of poems Flower to Flame in 1992 in the New Poetry in India series. The Rockefeller got him Bellagio Blues (2004).[clarification needed] Yaraana: Gay Writing from India (Penguin, 1999), Forbidden Sex/Texts (Routledge, 2009), Indian Homosexuality (Allied, 2010), The Man Who Would Be Queen: Autobiographical Fiction (Penguin, 2012) and Sufiana: Poems (2013) are among his notable works. Merchant superannuated from the University of Hyderabad where he taught Poetry and Surrealism.
Teacher, Poet and Critic
He has written 20 books of poetry, and four critical studies. He edited India's first gay anthology Yaraana: Gay Writing from India. Secret Writings of Hoshang Merchant (OUP: New Delhi, 2016), edited by Akshaya K. Rath, is his most recent publication.
- 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)
- In-discretions: Anaïs Nin (1990, Calcutta: Writers Workshop)
- Forbidden Sex, Forbidden Texts (2008, Delhi: Routledge)
- Yaarana: Gay Writing from India (1999, New Delhi: Penguin)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-03-12. Retrieved 2009-10-27."Hoshang Merchant - The Poetry of Jalwah" by Aparajita Roy Sinha, Channel6magazine.com, accessed 27 October 2009
- Merchant, Hoshang (20 August 2001). "Sar Pe Lal Topi Parsi". Outlook. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
- Rath, Akshaya K. (2014). "'Either Sink or Swim!': An Interview with Hoshang Merchant". The Challenge. 23 (1).
- Hoshang Merchant: Poet, Teacher, Lover
- "Sar Pe Lal Topi Parsi" by Hoshang Merchant, Outlook.com, 20 August 2001, accessed 27 October 2009
- "Hoshang Merchant - The Poetry of Jalwah" by Aparajita Roy Sinha, Channel6magazine.com, accessed 27 October 2009