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Works by
Mark Doty
(Poet)
[August 10, 1953 - ]

mdoty at uh dot edu
(Please delete the spaces in this address before you use it. We're trying to reduce spam! )
http://www.markdoty.org
BLOG
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Profile created 2003
Updated October 8, 2009
 
Mark Doty has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill, Rockefeller, and Whiting foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Houston, Texas, where he teaches at the University of Houston. -- from Saints & Sinners
As Editor
  • Open House: Writers Redefine Home-Graywolf Forum Five (2003)
    Twenty Writers Define Home In All of Its Complexity and Variety

    "Where do I live? I don’t have a ready answer, not really, but I’ve realized there’s something I like about not having an answer. And indeed something of that spirit—a curious, open engagement with the now, in its slippery and uncertain character—animates this book."
    —Mark Doty, from his Introduction

    In a shifting world, concepts of place and home take many forms. Mark Doty gathers an impressive group of writers to describe their contemporary sense of home. Victoria Redel lives her teenage years from inside a fifteen-pound body cast—loving and hating the loss of her body; Barbara Hurd finds that within a cave, the absence of all light allows for clarity of vision; and Andrea Barrett wipes filth from a sill in her Brooklyn apartment only to realize that the dirt is actually “ash of buildings, ash of planes. Ash of people.” Surroundings—walls, trees, or states of mind—are defined by our reactions to them. These essays are about how the mind can create a home—for a moment, or for a lifetime.

    Contributors include Bernard Cooper, Carol Muske-Dukes, Deborah Lott, Elizabeth McCracken, Mary Morris, and Terry Tempest Williams.

Biography/Memoirs
  • Dog Years: A Memoir (2007)
    When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he brings home Beau, a large, malnourished golden retriever in need of loving care. Joining Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family, Beau bounds back into life. Before long, the two dogs become Doty's intimate companions, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days.

    Dog Years is a poignant, intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about living, love, and loss.

  • Firebird: A Memoir (1999)
    In Firebird, Mark Doty tells the story of a ten-year-old in a top hat, cane, and red chiffon scarf, interrupted while belting out Judy Garland's "Get Happy" by his alarmed mother at the bedroom door, exclaiming, "Son, you're a boy!"

    Firebird presents us with a heroic little boy who has quite enough worries without discovering that his dawning sexuality is the Wrong One. A self-confessed "chubby smart bookish sissy with glasses and a Southern accent," Doty grew up on the move, the family following his father's engineering work across America-from Tennessee to Arizona, Florida to California. A lyrical, heartbreaking comedy of one family's dissolution through the corrosive powers of alcohol, sorrow, and thwarted desire, Firebird is also a wry evocation of childhood's pleasures and terrors, a comic tour of American suburban life, and a testament to the transformative power of art.

  • Heaven's Coast: A Memoir (1996) -- Winner PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction
    The year is 1989 and Mark Doty's life has reached a state of enviable equilibrium. His reputation as a poet of formidable talent is growing, he enjoys his work as a college professor and, perhaps most importantly, he is deeply in love with his partner of many years, Wally Roberts. The harmonious existence these two men share is shattered, however, when they learn that Wally has tested positive for the HIV virus.

    From diagnosis to the initial signs of deterioration to the heartbreaking hour when Wally is released from his body's ruined vessel, Heaven's Coast is an intimate chronicle of love, its hardships, and its innumerable gifts. We witness Doty's passage through the deepest phase of grief -- letting his lover go while keeping him firmly alive in memory and heart -- and, eventually beyond, to the slow reawakening of the possibilities of pleasure. Part memoir, part journal, part elegy for a life of rare communication and beauty, Heaven's Coast evinces the same stunning honesty, resplendent descriptive power and rapt attention to the physical landscape that has won Doty's poetry such attention and acclaim.

Fiction
  • The Art of Description: World Into Word (July 20, 2010 release)

  • Still Life With Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy (2001)
    From Mark Doty, one of our finest poets, a delicate and sensual literary essay. Part memoir, part art history, part meditation, this hybrid volume uses the great Dutch still life paintings of the seventeenth century as a departure point for an examination of uestions about our relationships with things, how we invest them with human store, how they hold feeling and hope and history within them.

Poetry
  • Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (2008)
    Mark Doty's Fire to Fire collects the best of Mark Doty's seven books of poetry, along with a generous selection of new work. Doty's subjects—our mortal situation, the evanescent beauty of the world, desire's transformative power, and art's ability to give shape to human lives—echo and develop across twenty years of poems. His signature style encompasses both the plainspoken and the artfully wrought; here one of contemporary American poetry's most lauded, recognizable voices speaks to the crises and possibilities of our times.

  • School of the Arts: Poems (2006)
    With School of the Arts, Mark Doty's darkly graceful seventh collection, the poet reinvents his own voice at midlife, finding his way through a troubled passage. At once witty and disconsolate -- formally inventive, acutely attentive, insistently alive -- this is a book of fierce vulnerability that explores the ways in which we are educated by the implacable powers of time and desire in a world that constantly renews itself.

  • Seeing Venice: Bellotto's Grand Canal (2002)
    Bernardo Bellotto's magnificent View of the Grand Canal provides a rich visual record of life in eighteenth-century Venice. This painting--one of the most popular in the Getty Museum--is so sweeping in its scope and so detailed that it requires repeated viewings to take in its portrait of daily life in Venice in the 1780s. This small book presents Bellotto's great painting in a series of beautiful details that allow the reader to examine the painting closely and enjoy the colorful and busy goings-on of Venetian life captured so unforgettably by Bellotto. The book jacket unfolds to become a small poster of the painting in its entirety. Accompanying these delightful images is a lyrical essay by noted American poet Mark Doty. Together, Bellotto's painting and Doty's prose make for an unforgettable encounter with the art and life of Venice.

  • Source: Poems (2002) -- Winner 2002 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Poetry
    This bold, wide-ranging collection -- his sixth book of poems -- demonstrates the unmistakable lyricism, fierce observation, and force of feeling that have made Mark Doty's poems special to readers on both sides of the Atlantic.

    The poems in Source deepen Doty's exploration of the paradox of selfhood. They offer a complex, boldly colored self-portrait; their muscular lines argue fiercely with the fact of limit; they pulse with the drama of perception and the quest to forge meaning.

  • Murano: Glass from the J. Paul Getty Museum (2000)
    Murano, a recent work by the distinguished American poet Mark Doty, is a contemplative meditation on human mortality and the mystery of artistic creation. Addressed to his late friend, the poet Lynda Hull, the musings in Murano are set against the backdrop of Venice and the glassmaker's art, as practiced for centuries on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon.

    This moving poem is illustrated with details of sixteen pieces of dazzling Murano glass from the collection of the Getty Museum. These fine, delicate objects paired with Doty's stirring words create an exceptional visual and verbal experience.

  • Turtle, Swan & Bethlehem in Broad Daylight: Two Volumes of Poetry (2000)
    The winner of four major awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize, Mark Doty has established himself as one of the most courageous and eloquent poets of our time. The University of Illinois Press is proud to present this one-volume edition of Doty's first two collections of poetry, "Turtle, Swan and Bethlehem in Broad Daylight". Long out of print, "Turtle, Swan and Bethlehem in Broad Daylight" brought Doty to critical attention as the first post-Stonewall gay poet to emerge as a major voice in American letters. Stories of paradise, pageant, and fugitive peace course through these pages are lit by Doty's visions of the architecture and artifice of a lush world. Exploring the forms of remembering and inventing, Doty affirms that, from the first loss, we preserve by naming.

  • An Island Sheaf (1998)

  • Sweet Machine: Poems (1998)
    Mark Doty's last two award-winning collections of poetry, as well as his acclaimed memoir Heaven's Coast,  used the devastation of AIDS as a lens through which to consider questions of loss, love and identity.The poems in his new collection, Sweet Machine,  see the world from a new, hard-won perspective: A coming back to life, after so much death, a way of seeing the body's "sweet machine" not simply as a time bomb, but also as a vibrant, sensual, living thing. These poems are themselves "sweet machines"--lyrical, exuberant and joyous--and they mark yet another milestone in the extraordinary career of one of our most distinguished and accomplished poets.

  • Atlantis: Poems (1995) -- Winner 1995 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men's Poetry, Winner Ambassador Book Award; Winner Bingham Poetry Prize
    The poignant, accomplished new collection of poetry from the author of My Alexandria.

  • My Alexandria: Poems (1993)

  • Bethlehem in Broad Daylight: Poems (1991)
    Divinity shown in desire, in human needs, resonates wonderfully through these pages; here belief in transcendence, in divine mystery, is possible even irresistible not in spite of, but particularly because of, the desire for belief, no matter how expressed. Here is an argument, in subtle, quiet, and gently elegant verse, for the paradise of the human.

  • Turtle, Swan (1987)

  • Tell Me Who I Am: James Agee's Search for Selfhood (1981)

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