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    Merrill Cole is Professor of English at Western Illinois University, where he teaches literature and creative writing. He spearheaded the development of the interdisciplinary undergraduate minor in Queer Studies, of which he serves as Advisor. In 2010-11, he was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Germany. Cole is the author of The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality, which was reissued in 2017, as well as numerous essays, creative narratives, and poems. His translation from the German of Anita Berber and Sebastian Droste’s Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy was published in 2012 by Side Real Press.

    He is HIV+.


    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, Joint-Ph.D., August 1999, Department of English, and the Program in Theory and Criticism of the Department of Comparative Literature

    Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, M.F.A. in Poetry, May 1993, Department of English

    New College of the University of South Florida, Sarasota, Florida B.A. in Literature, May 1990



    Berber, Anita and Sebastian Droste. Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy. Intro. and Trans. Merrill Cole. Newcastle, U.K.: Side Real P, 2012.

    The Other Orpheus: A Poetics of Modern Homosexuality. New York: Routledge, 2003. Reprint, 2017.


    “The Queer Repression of Jacques Lacan.” After Lacan. New York: Cambridge UP, forthcoming.

    “Modernist Poetry.” Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature. Ed. Ellen McCallum and Mikko Tuhkanen. New York: Cambridge UP, 2015: 378-401.

    “The Orient of Critique: Ambivalence about the East in Wilde and Gide.” Indiscretions: At the Intersection Between Queer and Postcolonial Theory. Ed. Murat Aydemir. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2011: 53-74.

    “The Purloined Mirror.” [On Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Assignation.”] Short Story Criticism, Vol. 54. Detroit: The Gale Group, 2002: 210-18.

    “Nat Turner’s Thing.” The Psychoanalysis of Race. Ed. Christopher Lane. New York: Columbia UP, 1998: 261-81.


    “Uncapture This Image.” [On Hannah Höch and David Wojnarowicz.] South Central Review 32:1 (Spring 2015: Special Issue: Dada, Surrealism, and Colonialism, ed. Martine Antle and Katharine Conley): 23-42.

    “Symptom or Inspiration? H.D., Freud, and Question of Vision.” Journal for Cultural and Religious Theory 10:2 (Spring 2010).

    “Remaking Sense: Gertrude Stein and the Names of the Father.” Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal 38:1 (January 2009): 84-99.

    “Backwards Ventriloquy: The Historical Uncanny in Djuna Barnes’s Nightwood.” Twentieth-Century Literature 52:4 (Winter 2006): 391-412.

    “Jouissance of the Commodities: Rimbaud against Erotic Reification.” Genders 32 (Fall 2000).

    “Admiration’s Double Labor: Phaedrus in the Mirror.” American Imago 57:2 (Summer 2000): 121-40.

    “Mythological Desire and the Male Lesbian: Reading Baudelaire’s Femmes Damnées.” New Comparison 27/28 (Spring/Autumn 1999): 139-49.

    “Empire of the Closet.” [On T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land.] Discourse 19.3 (Spring 1997): 67-91.

    “The Purloined Mirror.” Literature Interpretation Theory 8.2 (Spring 1997): 135-51.


    “Lynxes.” The Good Men Project (September 2017).

    “Johnny in Lights.” Spoon River Poetry Review 42.1 (Summer 2017): 36-37.

    “The Hip Poet.” Spoon River Poetry Review 42.1 (Summer 2017): 38.

    “Defense Mechanism.” Spoon River Poetry Review 42.1 (Summer 2017): 39-40.

    “This Fabulous Shadow.” Women’s Studies Quarterly 45:1&2 (Spring/Summer 2017): 190-191.

    “Dirty Bits” concīs (Winter 2016); Dark Sky Magazine (March 2010).

    “Warm Brother.” HIV Here & Now (20 November 2016).

    “Lex Talionis.” The Good Men Project (November 2015).

    “How the Nightingales Lost Their Hands.” Poetic Diversity (April 2013); HIV Here & Now (7 June 2015).

    “Objective Correlative.” Creative Resistance (March 2014); The Good Men Project (October 2014).

    “The Mystery of Statistics.” Featured Poet. Poetic Diversity (November 2013).

    “Pirate.” Featured Poet. Poetic Diversity. (November 2013).

    “Edema.” Bellevue Literary Review 13:2 (Fall 2013): 78.

    [“The Emir’s robe stained”]. Haiku Journal 15 (May 2013).

    “Yellow Yo-Yo.” Occupy Wall Street Poetry Anthology (2011).

    “Candy Man.” Trickhouse 9 (Summer 2010).

    “‘Afterthought, Afterthought,’ the Children Chant.” Action, Yes 1:10 (Summer 2009).

    “Corporate-Administered Culture.” Action, Yes 1:10 (Summer 2009).

    “Encore Performance.” Action, Yes 1:10 (Summer 2009).

    “His Horns.” Action, Yes 1:10 (Summer 2009).

    “The Mannequin’s Rumor.” Action, Yes 1:10 (Summer 2009).

    “Mouth Marks.” New Writing: The International Journal of the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing [New Writing] 3:2 (November 2006): 123.

    “The Exam.” Literatures of North Queensland [LiNQ] 13:1 (May 2005): 41.

    “The Sequin Said It.” LiNQ 13:1 (May 2005): 42. “Zero’s Hold.” LiNQ 13:1 (May 2005): 43.

    “The Player.” New Writing 1:1 (2004): 44.

    “Too Tied to Luck.” Aught 13 (2004).

    “Archaic Torso of Barbie.” BlazeVOX 2K4 (Summer 2004).

    “Clarity’s Pleats.” BlazeVOX 2K4 (Summer 2004).

    “Refrain.” BlazeVOX 2K4 (Summer 2004).

    “Forlorn Hors d’Oeuvres.” English Studies Forum 1:1 (Spring 2004).

    “Chamber Fugue.” Postcards for Pottersville. Volume 2. Pottersville Press: Panama City, FL, 2003: 92.

    “The Marble Crotch.” Postcards for Pottersville. Volume 2. Pottersville Press: Panama City, FL, 2003: 93.

    “Bring Us More Ice.” Curare 1:3 (Fall 1994): 43.

    “Lucinda.” Curare 1:3 (Fall 1994): 43.


    “Waterfall.” Open Minds Quarterly 16:4 (Winter, 2015): 18-20.

    “A Gray Princess.” Bewildering Stories 532 (July 2013).


    “The Blond Sheep.” Mayday Magazine 10 (Fall 2016).

    “Eighty Euros.” The Round Up Writers Zine 2-2 (January, 2015): 9-10.

    “Proof of Love.” Gay Flash Fiction (December 2014).


    Berber, Anita and Sebastian Droste. Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy. Selections. Intro. and Trans. Merrill Cole. Action, Yes 1:10 (Summer 2009).


    “Don’t Self-Flagellate about White Privilege. Do Something!” The Huffington Post (January 20, 2015).

    “Pride and Prejudice and Publication.” H_angm_n Books (September 19, 2014).

    “Vision Written in Gasoline: M. L. Smoker’s “The Necessary Bullet.” Montevidayo (August 26, 2011).

    “The Escaped Cock? Male Homoeroticism in D.H. Lawrence’s Poetry.” Montevidayo (August 22, 2011).

    “WikiLinks and David Wojnarowicz: A Perspective from Berlin.” The Huffington Post (Front Page, January 11, 2011).


    I have a nonfiction novel, Accidental Berliner, which is currently in submission.

    I’m about to start a collaboration with Gary Schmidt on an edited anthology, in which we will translate a wide variety of contemporary queer German fiction.



    Merrill Cole

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    active 2 years ago