Hoshang Merchant

Karmapa’s Journey South

Hoshang Merchant was born in 1947 to a Zoroastrian business-family in Bombay, India. Hoshang Merchant graduated second in his BA Class (1968) with a major in English and a minor in the culture of India. From his mother’s family he descends from a line of preachers and teachers. He holds a Master’s from Occidental College in Los Angeles. At Purdue University, he specialized in the Renaissance and Modernism. Anais Nin and he corresponded for four years. His book on Nin, In-discretions, earned him a Ph.D. from Purdue in 1981, and was published by Writers Workshop which has also published eight books of his poetry since 1989. He helped establish Gay Liberation at Purdue. Since leaving Purdue in 1975, Merchant has attended the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Centre, Massachusetts and lived and taught in Heidelberg, Iran and Jerusalem where he was exposed to various radical student movements of the Left. He has studied Buddhism at the Tibetan Library at Dharamsala, north India, as well as Islam in Iran and Palestine. Rupa and Co. published his book of poems Flower to Flame in 1992 in the New Poetry in India series. Currently, he teaches Poetry and Surrealism at Hyderabad University and is unmarried by choice.