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Jan Hanlo
(1912 - 1969) Holland

Jan Hanlo

Poet

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Johannes Bernardus Maria Raphael Hanlo was born in Java to Catholic parents, Hanlo grew up in the Catholic south of Holland. A talented youth, raised apart from his father, he wrote from an early age. His prose debut was with an article on the London Jazz scene.

Jan HanloIn 1936 Hanlo was awarded a teaching certificate in English. In 1942 he undertook a degree in psychology at the University of Amsterdam. Bur in early 1943 he was picked up by the Nazis and sent to a factory in Berlin. He escaped back to Amsterdam but, after being detained again, went undergroung.

Most prolific in the post-war period, his work was published in established literary magazines. But Hanlo repressed love for young boys led to a breakdown, and he spent six months in a Catholic mental asylum, where his erotic attraction towards his students became the focus of barbaric treatement.

Released at the end of 1947, he cotributed to magazines. In 1952 his Dadaesque sound-poem "Oote" caused a literary scandal and was debated in Parliament. Hanlo also wrote love-poems for boys - Jossie being anthologised three times. After minor brushes with the law, in 1969 he went to Morocco, where he died in a motorcycle accident.

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001

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