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Academic | Writer | Activist


selected recent activities



Aug 2023 (UK) Feb 2024 (US)


New from Allen Lane (UK) and Pegasus Press (US): Nothing Ever Just Disappears. A thrilling new history of art and culture in the twentieth century, and a celebration of freedom, survival, and the hidden places of the imagination. 

Shortlisted - Hay/Eccles Centre Writers Award

Longlisted - RSL Ondaatje Prize for Place Writing 

'Nothing Ever Just Disappears is about what happens to a house or a room, or a whole town or city, when it is transformed by a powerful sensibility. With originality and subtlety, Diarmuid Hester examines how the gay imagination deals with place and with displacement, allowing for mystery and a kind of magic'

  —Colm Tóibín



Spring 2022


A new LGBTQ+ performance and music night at Cambridge Junction. Founded by Diarmuid Hester, Ema Boswood, Celia Willoughby, Roeland Van Der Heiden, and Rosie Cooper in partnership with Cambridge Junction and Wysing Arts Centre.

Writer and activist Edward Carpenter popularised the use of the term 'Uranian' to refer to queer people. Later, a little-known London publication called Urania was the first British magazine to openly discuss gender variance. The editors said: ‘there are no “men” or “women” in Urania’.


Club Urania takes its name in tribute to this utopian vision. 

Image: Diarmuid Hester hosts Club Urania. Photo by Dani Oliver



June 2020


University of Iowa Press has published Wrong: A Critical Biography of Dennis Cooper, the definitive account of one of America's most acclaimed and controversial writers. 


Wrong is a lively retrospective of Cooper's 50-year career, from his early poetry to his shocking novels of the '90s to his recent turn to filmmaking. Using archival research, close readings, and new interviews, it weaves a complex and often thrilling biographical narrative that cements Cooper’s status as a leading figure of the post-War avant-garde. 

‘A riveting chronicle of Dennis Cooper’s intertwined life and work’

—Wayne Koestenbaum, author, Camp Marmalade



March 2020


Dr Diarmuid Hester has been named a New Generation Thinker by a joint committee of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the BBC.


Defined as an academic who ‘brings the best of university research and scholarly ideas to a broad audience through the media and public engagement’, New Generation Thinkers work closely with producers at the BBC, contributing to radio broadcasts and developing research projects into programmes for a general public.


Dr Diarmuid Hester is a radical cultural historian, activist, and author of the critically acclaimed books Wrong: A Critical Biography of Dennis Cooper and Nothing Ever Just Disappears: Seven Hidden Histories. He is an authority on sexually dissident literature, art, film, and performance based at the Faculty of English, University of Cambridge. Diarmuid is represented by Matthew Marland at RCW.

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