August 10, 1953 |
|Alma mater||Drake University;
|Notable award(s)||National Book Award for Poetry|
Life and career
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.
His 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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. )His collections of poems Firebird told the story of his childhood in the American South and in Arizona. Louise Erdrich praised the book as being "about dogs, that is to say, about everything we cannot talk about... the 'unsayable' about our relationships with animals, and about unspeakable times of loss, Dog Years is not a dark book. It is illuminated from within by gorgeous wonder."[this quote needs a citation]
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.
He served as guest editor for "The Best American Poetry 2012" (Scribners, 2012).
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[update] 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.
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.
- My Alexandria: Poems. University of Illinois Press. 1 January 1993. ISBN 978-0-252-06317-6. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Turtle, Swan, and Bethlehem in Broad Daylight. University of Illinois Press. 2000. ISBN 978-0-252-06842-3. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Murano: Poem. Getty Publications. 2000. ISBN 978-0-89236-598-2. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Still Life with Oysters and Lemon. Beacon Press. 2001. ISBN 978-0-8070-6609-6. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. HarperCollins. 2008. ISBN 9780060752477.
- Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. HarperCollins. 11 March 2008. ISBN 978-0-06-075247-7. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Atlantis. HarperCollins. 13 October 2009. ISBN 978-0-06-196786-3. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Paragon Park. David R. Godine Publisher. 2012. ISBN 978-1-56792-442-8. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Sweet Machine. Random House. 2012. ISBN 9781448130283.
- Heaven's Coast. HarperCollins. 17 March 2009. ISBN 978-0-06-187163-4. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- Dog Years. HarperCollins. 13 October 2009. ISBN 978-0-06-184243-6. Retrieved 18 September 2013.
- 2003: Open House: Writers Redefine Home, St. Paul: Graywolf Books
- 1996: My Alexandria, University of Illinois Press
- 1998: Poetry Heaven, a three-part video series, The Dodge Foundation, New Jersey
- 1999: Mark Doty: Readings & Conversations, Lannan Literary Videos, Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles
- 1999: "Fooling with Words", Bill Moyers PBS special, September
- 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
- Web page titled "Mark Doty Books" at Mark Doty website . Retrieved May 5, 2008.
- Official website
- Mark Doty's MySpace
- Audio: Mark Doty at the Key West Literary Seminar, 2008: A Reading
- Audio: Mark Doty at the Key West Literary Seminar, 2008: Keynote Address
- Mark Doty performing "Pipistrelle" on the Indiefeed Performance Poetry Podcast
- Mark Doty's Poets.org bio
- Mark Doty's University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign bio
- Modern American Poetry
- Academy of American Poets
- 'Something Understood', review of The Art of Description in The Oxonian Review