Gregory Woods - author

­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

"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.)

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If you want to buy any of my books, please go to the Poetry and Non-fiction pages. Details of my publishers can be found on the Links page.


The fittest, who survives, seeks no reward
but rest from mortal combat's melodrama.
By plighting his devotion to a sword
and delegating feeling to his armour,
anaesthetised by neat adrenaline,
he barely feels the piercing of his skin.
He need not even be the pluckiest
so long as he remains the luckiest.

The fittest, who survives, tries to conceal
his wounds, as if they suppurated thought.
Detached from the beliefs for which he fought,
a guilty conscience his Achilles heel,
he sways above the body of his rival,
upbraiding his own heart for its survival.

From Gregory Woods, Records of an Incitement to Silence (Manchester: Carcanet Press, July 2021).


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In a hugely ambitious study which crosses continents, languages, and almost a century, Gregory Woods identifies the ways in which homosexuality has helped shape Western culture...

Latest Reviews “Woods’ project is a daunting one: to survey in both chronological and geographic terms the flowering of ‘Homintern’ networks, broadly defined, whose critical mass allowed their contemporaries to recognize them as a distinct community ... The scope of Woods’ project is nearly encyclopedic, its ambition laudable, its research omnivorous ... Woods provides ... a broad synthesis of much of the literature, including historical scholarship, novels, essays, poetry, memoirs, and quantities of queer biography. His is a balanced interdisciplinary approach, grabbing testimony from a wide range of sources in manifold genres.” Allen Ellenzweig, Gay and Lesbian Review
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