About Paul Knobel

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Paul Knobel was born in 1948 in Mackay, Queensland, Australia. He is the author of two cdroms, An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Poetry and its Reception History (2002) and An Encycloepdia of Male Homosexual Art (2005). An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Poetry is believed to be the largest and most wide ranging single work ever compiled on homosexuality by one person; it covers poetry in 243 languages as well as the background to it and critical and historical information on the poets.

He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree with honours in English literature from the Universaity of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia in 1969 and with a Master of Arts with honours from the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, in 1977. His master’s thesis of 100,000 words was titled “The theme of death in The Waste Land and in the poetry of Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman and Ted Hughs 1957-1973”. He also has a Diploma of Education from the University of New England, Armidale where he was on the Student Council.

He wrote the entries “Burma” and “Etruscans” in the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (2 volumes, 1990), edited by Wayne Dynes. “Etruscans” was the first work to discuss homosexuality amongst the Etruscans who are the foremost people of Italy before the Romans.

In 1999 he published in hard copy Male Homosexuality and Australian English Language Poetry which is the most detailed discussion of male homosexuality in relation to the poetry of an English language culture so far. An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Poetry and its Reception History, published on cdrom in 2002 in Filemaker Pro, was the product of over 20 years scholarship in Australia, Asia, north Africa, the Americas and Europe. It deals with the background to gay poetry as well as its reception history from publication. There are 7 fields which can be searched: name, birth, death, language, country, category (eg poet, critic), a comment field and a field giving an appraisal in relation to gay poetry (from 1 to 4, 4 being most important eg Whitman). Found information can be arranged chronologically or alphabetically or in ascending or descending order. There are overviews of gay poetry in 83 languages and language groups. These overviews were published in 2005 in hardcopy as A World Overview of Male Homosexual Poetry; copies were donated to libraries on all continents. Paul Knobel is also working on A History of Male Homosexual Poetry which has 6 of 12 chapters drafted.

An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Art was published in cdrom in 2005 as a work in progress since gay art is growing in scope at a fast rate. It consists of the following fields: name, birth, death, school, category (eg Oil painter, Marble sculptor), subjects depicted (eg Nude,. Anal sex), a ranking (from 1 to 4, 4 being the most important--eg Michelangelo has a 4) and a field indicating if further research would be profitable (this field was added to guide researchers). Though limited to the plastic arts. the Art Encyclopedia does not just cover painting, sculpture, drawing and engraving but fashion, architecture and design (including theatrical and film sets); in short any art which can be touched. Though, as with the Poetry Encyclopedia nothing is to be assumed about the sexuality of any person in it except as stated in an entry, a special feature is that all known homosexuals who have had artistic depictions done of them have entries eg Alexander the Great or the Roman Emperor Heliogabalus and in the modern period Benjamin Britten and Allen Ginsberg; readers will be guided to such depictions when a future edition (with a comment field for each entry) is published. The Art Encyclopedia is thus the most wideranging listing of male homosexuals (or persons thought to be such) ever. The 2005 edition had 8,300 entries and includes major gay art critics, historians and gay art anthologies of which some 180 have been discovered. As an example fo its scope. the Art Encyclopedia is believed to be the largest listing of Greek vase painters depicting homosexual themes and some 176 entries depict Anal sex. As with the Poetry Encyclopedia all entries can be arranged chronologically or alphabetically.


He is working on a second edition of An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Poetry which will include 1 poem in English for each English language poet up to 1923 (that is, poets who are out of copyright). This will probably have some 400 poems by 400 English language poets and will be the largest anthology in English. Where poets in copyright agree to inclusion of a poem, one will be included (the Canadian gay poet Ian Young has already agreed).. He is also compiling the second edition of An Encyclopedia of Male Homosexual Art which will include digital photographs of major gay art works taken in art galleries and museums in Europe and the United States 2005-06 and which are in the public domain following a recent court decision. Research on the Art Encyclopedia dates fomr 1987 and has been done “on the spot” in museums and art galleries in Australia, Europe, the Americas, Asia and north Africa. A slide lecture using material in the Art Encyclopedia was given in Sydney in 2004 called The Homosexual Caravaggio and published on a cdrom. In 1990 a slide lecture “4000 years of Male Homosexual Art” was given in Sydney but no record was made.


Paul Knobel is also a poet and has published a volume of poems, Events (1982), 2 chapbooks, 14 broadsheet poems and poemcards. The two volumes Eighties and Nineties which are forthcoming in 2007. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, and is at present a private scholar.


See also his entry in Wikipedia.

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