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Yorgos Ioannou
(1927 - 1985) Greece

Yorgos Ioannou



Born Yorgos Sorolopi, the son of refugee parents from Eastern Thrace, Ioannou was born and brought up in Tessaloniki, where as a teenager he was a friend of the most outspoken gay writer of his generation, Dinos Christianopoulos. In his adolescence he became a member of a Christian Youth movement, which he only finally left at the age 21. He studied history and archaelogy in the Arts Faculty of the University of Tessaloniki, gaining his degree in 1950.

Thereafter his career was marked by a great restlessness for several years. After his two years' military service he taught in a private school for a few months, but in 1954 he was appointed as a lecturer in the ancient history department at the University of Tessaloniki. In the same year he published his first collection of poems. In 1955 he formally changed his name to Ioannou.

Later that year he resigned his university post and took up a teaching jb at a smart private boarding school in Athens, which he also resigned from after a few months, moving into state-sector teaching instead. For several years he was moved around schools in rural central and northern Greece.

In 1964 his first important collection of prose appeared. Though he continued his teaching career, moving to Athens in 1971, he was henceforth primarily a writer, producing stories, articles, literary criticism, translations and a variety of short prose works. Though Iannou's homosexuality is very important to his work, it is largely suggested in his work rather than discussed.


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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