David Profumo

Coming Out

The Penguin Book of Homosexual Verse

By

Penguin Books 410pp £8.95) order from our bookshop

Mae West is Dead: Recent Lesbian and Gay Fiction

By

Faber 307pp £10 order from our bookshop

‘For me’, writes Dr Coote in his introduction to this Penguin anthology, ‘a gay poem is one that either deals with explicitly gay matters or describes an intense and loving relationship between two people of the same gender.’ ‘Homosexual’, the synonym he has chosen for the title, is a term coined by Karoly Maria Benkert in 1869 to describe behaviour which was beginning to be regarded as a disease after decades of being treated as a crime- in Britain, sodomy (as opposed to intercrurual sex) was a capital offence until 1861. Those who take homosexuality to be a natural variation of human feeling rather than an abnormality will expect to find some love-poems in this book, as well as poems of desire. Both are represented, and, like similar heterosexual verse, a fair proportion is explicit, erotic, sometimes leering.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,