Mark Doty

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Mark Doty
Mark doty8006.JPG
Born (1953-08-10) August 10, 1953 (age 61)
Maryville, Tennessee
Nationality American
Alma mater Drake University;
Goddard College
Genre Poetry
Notable awards National Book Award for Poetry

Mark Doty (born August 10, 1953) is an American poet and memoirist, and the winner of the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008.

Early life[edit]

Mark Doty was born in Maryville, Tennessee. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and received his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

Doty's first collection of poems, Turtle, Swan, was published by David R. Godine in 1987; a second collection, Bethlehem in Broad Daylight, appeared from the same publisher in 1991. While some poems in these two volumes are concerned with gay identity and the encroachment of the AIDS epidemic, the two books are largely centered on an autobiographical exploration of family, in which the poet examines the forces that have shaped his adult consciousness.[citation needed]

His third book, My Alexandria (University of Illinois Press, 1993), is entirely informed by the AIDS epidemic. In 1989, Doty's partner Wally Roberts tested positive for HIV.[1] The collection, written while Roberts had not yet become ill, contemplates the prospect of mortality, desperately attempting to find some way of making the prospect of loss even momentarily bearable. My Alexandria was chosen for the National Poetry Series by Philip Levine, and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When the book was published in the U.K. by Jonathan Cape, Doty became the first American poet to win the T.S. Eliot Prize, Britain's most significant annual award for poetry.[citation needed]

Doty had begun the poems collected in Atlantis (HarperCollins, 1995) when Roberts died in 1994. The book won the Bingham Poetry Prize and the Ambassador Book Award. Heaven's Coast: A Memoir (HarperCollins, 1996), is a meditative account of losing a loved one, and a study in grief. The book received the PEN Martha Albrand Award First Nonfiction.[2]

Doty had published eight books of poems; three memoirs; an essay on still life painting, objects and intimacy; and a handbook for writers. Along with the titles listed above, his volumes of poetry include Sweet Machine (HarperCollins, 1998), Source, (HarperCollins, 2002), School of the Arts (HarperCollins, 2005) and Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins, 2008), which received the National Book Award.[citation needed]

His memoirs, after Heaven's Coast, are Firebird (HarperCollins, 1999), an autobiography from six to sixteen, and Dog Years (HarperCollins, 2005), which was a New York Times Bestseller and received the Israel Fishman Stonewall Book Award from the American Lbrary Association. Firebird tells the story of his childhood in the American South and in Arizona.[citation needed]

He has also published Still Life with Oysters and Lemon (Beacon Press, 2002), a book-length essay about 17th-century Dutch painting and our relationships to objects. In addition, his The Art of Description (Graywolf Books, 2010) is a short examination of poetry's ability to render perception into language.[citation needed]

He served as guest editor for "The Best American Poetry 2012 (Scribners, 2012).[citation needed]

Doty has taught at the University of Iowa, Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, Cornell and NYU. He was the John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the graduate program at The University of Houston Creative Writing Program for ten years, and is currently Distinguished Professor and Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he directs Writers House. He has also participated in The Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's MFA Program for Poets & Writers, and was on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference in August 2006. He is the inaugural judge of the White Crane/James White Poetry Prize for Excellence in Gay Men's Poetry.[citation needed]

Doty was a judge for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.[3] In 2014, he was welcomed as a trustee of the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry.[4]

Personal life[edit]

From 1995 until 2010, his partner was the writer Paul Lisicky. They were married in 2008 and divorced in 2013. He currently lives with his partner Alexander Hadelin in New York City and in the hamlet of The Springs in East Hampton, New York.[citation needed]

Works[edit]

Poetry[edit]

Memoir[edit]

Edited[edit]

  • 2003: Open House: Writers Redefine Home, St. Paul: Graywolf Books[5]

Audiotapes[edit]

  • 1996: My Alexandria, University of Illinois Press[5]

Videotapes[edit]

  • 1998: Poetry Heaven, a three-part video series, The Dodge Foundation, New Jersey[5]
  • 1999: Mark Doty: Readings & Conversations, Lannan Literary Videos, Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles[5]
  • 1999: "Fooling with Words", Bill Moyers PBS special, September[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Toibin, Colm (2002), Love in a Dark Time: And Other Explorations of Gay Lives and Literature, Simon and Schuster, p. 241, ISBN 0-7432-4467-2 
  2. ^ h//www.pen.org/page.php/prmID/896
  3. ^ Griffin Poetry Prize 2013 Judges
  4. ^ Judges for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize Announced and New Trustee Welcomed (September 17, 2014)
  5. ^ a b c d e Web page titled "Mark Doty Books" at Mark Doty website . Retrieved May 5, 2008.

External links[edit]