Walt whitman, our great gay poet?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


This article surveys the critical debates around Walt Whitman's Calamus cluster, arguing that a queer reading of Whitmanone that does not see him as, for example, a closeted homosexual who censored his work for fear of being outedis both historically accurate and politically efficacious. While previous efforts to reclaim Whitman as our great gay poet are understandableparticularly given critical readings of Whitman that denied the homoeroticism of his poemstoday, a reading of Whitman as homosexual threatens to simplify our understanding of the history of homosexuality and to blunt the power of Whitman's poetry to continue to queer normative understandings of sex and gender identity categories and their relationship to politics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)648-664
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 11 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Walt whitman, our great gay poet?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this