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James Stratton Holmes
(1924 - 1986) U.S.A. - Holland

James Holmes

Poet, translator

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Pseudomyms: Jim Holmes, Jacob Lowland. Holmes was born and raised on a farm in central Iowa. He was educated at William Penn College, Haveford, and Brown University. In 1949, he went to Holland as a Fulbright exchange teacher to teach English at an international Quaker college. In 1950, he moved to Amsterdam, where he began to work as a freelance editor and translator of Dutch poetry.

In 1956, he became the first non-native speaker of Dutch to be awarded the Matinus Nijhoff Prize, the leading Dutch award for literary translation. In 1964 he became a lecturer, and later a senior lecturer, in Translation Studies at the University of Amsterdam.

In 1978, he co-founded a new disscipline, Dutch Gay Studies (Homostudies). He helped to launch numerous academic and nn-academic gay emancipation initiatives. His workshops on gay literature at the General Literary Studies Department of the University of Amsterdam gained much renown. He retired in 1985 and died from Aids-related illness on the following year. He was buried in Amsterdam, which has been his home for thirty-six years.

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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
Picture by: Tom Ordelman

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