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Hine, Daryl (1936-2012)  

The Canadian-American poet Daryl Hine was a leader in giving serious homosexual poetry a place in the mainstream of American poetry.

Although he mostly lived in the United States after 1967, Hine was born on February 24, 1936 in British Columbia, Canada, and attended McGill University in Montreal, where his poetic career began with the publication of two highly praised short volumes, Five Poems (1955) and The Carnal and the Crane (1957). Between Montreal and arrival at the University of Chicago in 1967, Hine traveled extensively in Europe, experience that resulted in a novel (The Prince of Darkness & Co., 1961) and a travel account (Polish Subtitles, 1962).

Having gained the Ph.D. degree, Hine taught classics at the University of Chicago for several years and edited the prestigious Poetry magazine from 1968 to 1978. His early work culminated in the poetry volumes The Wooden Horse (1965) and Minutes (1968).

His reputation was firmly secured by the praise of the eminent Canadian critic Northrop Frye, who "doubt[ed] if any Canadian poet [had] potentially greater talents," and of American poet Richard Howard, who drew attention to Hine's "special status as a Wunderkind." As an intensely literary poet with enviable classical learnedness, Hine's affiliations were with the gay American formalists Richard Howard and James Merrill, rather than with any Canadian school of poets.

Hine's homosexuality was largely a matter of insider knowledge during the first phase of his career, but in 1975 he published an autobiography of his early years in verse, In & Out, in which he chronicled two romances of his McGill career that framed his attempt to escape his sexuality by converting to Catholicism and spending a summer in a Vermont Benedictine monastery.

In & Out is both witty and painfully moving, and clarifies how Hine's intellectual engagement with both classicism and Catholicism provided the confused young poet with a way of articulating homosexual experience and a way of coming out. Harold Bloom praised In & Out (available at that time only in a privately printed and circulated version) as "amazingly good verse" that authoritatively documented the "quasi-identity of sexual and religious experience."

After 1975, Hine's volumes of poetry dealt more explicitly with the pain of growing up gay during the 1940s and 1950s and--along with the work of poets like Howard Moss, Richard Howard, and James Merrill--gave serious homosexual poetry a place in the mainstream of American poetry. This process gained public recognition with the publication of In & Out by Knopf in 1989.

Hine died on August 20, 2012, in Evanston, Illinois, from complication of a blood disorder. He was predeceased in death by his partner of more than 30 years, Samuel Todes, a philosophy professor who died in 1994.

He published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and gained acclaim for his technical prowess, especially in the use of intricate forms.

Patrick Holland


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literature >> Overview:  American Literature: Gay Male, Post-Stonewall

After Stonewall, gay male literature became focused as a movement, aided by the development of gay newspapers, magazines, and quarterlies and the founding of serious gay and lesbian bookstores.

literature >> Overview:  Canadian Literature in English

Since the 1960s, Canadian gay and lesbian writers have produced a vibrant body of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and poetry.

literature >> Howard, Richard

Richard Howard's searching and witty poetry, in which homosexuality is not a problem but a solution, is a significant contribution to the gay and lesbian literary heritage.

literature >> Merrill, James

James Merrill's significance as a gay writer lies in his deliberate use of a personal relationship to fuel his poetry.

literature >> Moss, Howard

Howard Moss, one of the leading figures of American letters in the latter half of the twentieth century, is the author of a significant body of elegant, erudite, and urbane work, especially poetry. 


Bloom, Harold. "The Year's Books: Harold Bloom on Poetry, Part I." The New Republic, November 20, 1976, p. 21.

Frye, Northrop. The Bush Garden: Essays on the Canadian Imagination. Toronto: Anansi, 1971.

Howard, Richard. Alone with America: Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States Since 1950. New York: Atheneum, 1969.


    Citation Information
    Author: Holland, Patrick  
    Entry Title: Hine, Daryl  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated August 26, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 1995, 2002 New England Publishing Associates  


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