NON-AWARD-WINNING POET AND CULTURAL HISTORIAN
Welcome to my website. I use it to post information about my poetry and literary criticism, and also about my career as an academic and teacher. When I retired in 2013 I was appointed Professor Emeritus in Gay and Lesbian Studies by Nottingham Trent University.
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"The poet with the sharpest technique for social verse in Britain today. He lets off fireworks through the official groves of English literature" - Peter Porter
"The poems of Gregory Woods have never failed to impress me ... For a start there are few poets around who can rival him technically" - Matt Simpson
"Perhaps the most sexily literate poet writing in England" - Neil Powell
"The foremost gay poet working in Britain today" - Alan Sinfield (Gay Times, 1995)
"When I think of the dross that is regularly published, noticed, praised, rewarded, and then consider that for the most part Woods goes without recognition, I'm not so much aghast as enraged at the (still largely London) cabal that decides poetic worth in England" - John Lucas
"I'm not sure I had ever written a fan letter before to a poet I had not met, but that's what I did when I read two poems by Gregory Woods ... 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 ... What an enviable talent Gregory Woods has" - Thom Gunn
"I have read Gregory Woods' poems with real excitement" - Sir Stephen Spender
"Probably, the finest gay poet in the United Kingdom ... a poet of considerable technical ability and intellectual depth" - Sinéad Morrissey
From the introduction to Luca Baldoni, Le parole tra gli uomini: L’omosessualità e la poesia italiana moderna e contemporanea (2010):
"Anche nel mondo anglosassone è possibile tracciare una linea che parte con Whitman, e poi prosegue con Crane, Auden, Ginsberg, O’Hara, e più recentemente Gunn, Woods e Doty".
(In the Anglo-Saxon world, too, it is possible to trace a line that begins with Walt Whitman, continues with Hart Crane, W.H. Auden, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara and, more recently, Thom Gunn, Gregory Woods and Mark Doty.)
As boys transpire the poolside differs,
Those whippy boys who coif us
Or serve us their Italian coffees,
Forsaking tee-shirts, jeans and loafers
For bareness, bellies flat as wafers,
Their sweat as sweet as scented reefers,
Dispersed on suffocating zephyrs.
The painter’s calm is like a Sufi’s.
They torture him in spiteful rough-house,
Eructing jibes as nice as typhus.
But even so, the silly doofus,
He stays. Suffice to say, he suffers!
Like lasers into lakes of sapphires,
They dive, but barely scratch the surface.
From Gregory Woods, Records of an Incitement to Silence (Manchester: Carcanet Press, July 2021).
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A cultural history of LGBT internationalism, from the late 19th century to the 1970s.