Essex Hemphill

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Essex Hemphill
Born: April 16, 1957
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: November 4, 1995
Occupation: poet, activist
Nationality: Flag of United States American

Essex Hemphill (1957 — 1995) was an American poet and activist.


  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Works
    • 2.1 Anthologies
    • 2.2 Appearances
  • 3 Resources
  • 4 External links


Essex Hemphill was born April 16, 1957 in Chicago and died on November 4, 1995 of AIDS-related complications.

His poetry has been published widely in journals, and his essays have appeared in High Performance, Gay Community News, RFD Magazine, The Advocate, Pyramid Periodical, Essence, and others.

He is known for his activism for equality and rights for gay men.


  • (essay in) Boys Like Us: Gay Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories, Patrick Merla (ed.) Avon Books. 1996
  • (essays in) "Life Sentences: Writers, Artists, and AIDS", Thomas Avena (ed.) Mercury House. 1994
  • Ceremonies: Prose and Poetry (1992)
  • Brother to Brother: New Writings by Black Gay Men (1991) (ed.)
  • Conditions: Poems (1986)


  • Tongues Untied, anthology
  • In the Life, anthology
  • Gay and Lesbian Poetry in Our Time, anthology
  • Art Against Apartheid, anthology
  • Men and Intimacy, anthology
  • The Poet Upstairs, anthology
  • High Risk, anthology
  • New Men, anthology
  • New Minds, anthology
  • Natives, anthology
  • Tourists and Other Mysteries, anthology


  • documentary Looking for Langston
  • documentary Tongues Untied (1990)
  • Black Is...Black Ain't (1994)
  • as narrator Out of the Shadows, AIDS documentary


  • Article at Colorado.Edu
  • Bio at Philadelphia Center for Arts
  • Some of his work
  • Article on him in Lodestar
  • Entry at IMDB
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