World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Mark Doty


Mark Doty

Mark Doty
Born (1953-08-10) August 10, 1953
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 1
  • Career 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Awards 4
  • Works 5
    • Poetry 5.1
    • Memoir 5.2
    • Edited 5.3
    • Essays 5.4
    • Audiotapes 5.5
    • Videotapes 5.6
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

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.


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.

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.

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.

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 Library Association. Firebird tells the story of his childhood in the American South and in Arizona.

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 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.

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]

In 2011, Doty was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. [5]

Personal life

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 Hadel in New York City and in the hamlet of The Springs in East Hampton, New York.[6]




  • My Alexandria: Poems. University of Illinois Press. 1 January 1993.  
  • Turtle, Swan, and Bethlehem in Broad Daylight. University of Illinois Press. 2000.  
  • Murano: Poem. Getty Publications. 2000.  
  • Still Life with Oysters and Lemon. Beacon Press. 2001.  
  • Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. HarperCollins. 2008.  
  • Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. HarperCollins. 11 March 2008.  
  • Atlantis. HarperCollins. 13 October 2009.  
  • Paragon Park. David R. Godine Publisher. 2012.  
  • Sweet Machine. Random House. 2012.  
  • Deep Lane: Poems.  


  • Heaven's Coast. HarperCollins. 17 March 2009.  
  • Dog Years. HarperCollins. 13 October 2009.  


  • 2003: Open House: Writers Redefine Home, St. Paul: Graywolf Books[7]


  • "The Unwriteable". Granta (110: Sex). Spring 2010.  (Subscription Required)
  • "Insatiable". Granta (117: Horror). Autumn 2011.  (Subscription Required)


  • 1996: My Alexandria, University of Illinois Press[7]


  • 1998: Poetry Heaven, a three-part video series, The Dodge Foundation, New Jersey[7]
  • 1999: Mark Doty: Readings & Conversations, Lannan Literary Videos, Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles[7]
  • 1999: "Fooling with Words", Bill Moyers PBS special, September[7]


  1. ^  
  2. ^ h//
  3. ^ Griffin Poetry Prize 2013 Judges
  4. ^ Judges for the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize Announced and New Trustee Welcomed (September 17, 2014)
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d e Web page titled "Mark Doty Books" at Mark Doty website . Retrieved May 5, 2008.

External links

  • Official website
  • 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 bio
  • Mark Doty's University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign bio
  • Profile at The Whiting Foundation
  • 2011 Whiting Writers' Award Keynote Speech
  • Modern American Poetry
  • Academy of American Poets
  • 'Something Understood', review of The Art of Description in The Oxonian Review
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Hawaii eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.