[August 10, 1953 - ]
mdoty at uh dot edu|
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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
Open House: Writers Redefine Home-Graywolf Forum Five
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.
Dog Years: A Memoir
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
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
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
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.
The Art of Description: World Into Word
(July 20, 2010 release)
Still Life With Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy
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.
Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems
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
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.
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.
Seeing Venice: Bellotto's Grand Canal
Lambda Literary Award
Gay Men's Poetry
(2002) -- Winner
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, 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.
Murano: Glass from the J. Paul Getty Museum
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
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.
Turtle, Swan & Bethlehem in Broad Daylight: Two Volumes of Poetry
An Island Sheaf
Sweet Machine: Poems
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
(1995) -- Winner 1995
Lambda Literary Award
Gay Men's Poetry,
Ambassador Book Award; Winner Bingham Poetry Prize
The poignant, accomplished new collection
of poetry from the author of My Alexandria.
My Alexandria: Poems
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.
Bethlehem in Broad Daylight: Poems
Tell Me Who I Am: James Agee's Search for Selfhood
American Alphabets: 25 Contemporary Poets
(2006), David Walker, ed.
Includes works by Agha Shahid Ali, Arthur Sze,
Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Bob
Hicok, Bruce Beasley, Bruce Weigl, C. D. Wright,
Carol Muske-Dukes, David St. John,
Larry Levis, Lee Upton,
Linda Bierds, Linda Gregerson,
Marianne Boruch, Mark Doty,
Mary Ruefle, Norman Dubie,
Pamela Alexander, Rita Dove, Robin Behn, Susan Stewart, Thomas Lux, and
Ploughshares Spring 1999: Stories and Poems
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