“Doty pushes the boundaries of thought and form, always searching and considering and never wavering in his attempt to not only understand the world but determine the best way to ‘be’ in it.” —Booklist“Doty brilliantly renders the majesty of distinctive creatures and the abiding presence of people and places that no longer exist. Apparitions and hard-won insights shape his hunger for the Divine.” —Washington Post Praised by the New York Times for his “dazzling, tactile grasp of the world,” Mark Doty is a renowned author of poetry and prose. He is the author of three memoirs: the New York Times-bestselling Dog Years (HarperCollins, 2007), Firebird (1999), and Heaven’s Coast (1997), as well as a book about craft and criticism, The Art of Description: World Into Word, part of the popular “Art of” series published by Graywolf Press. Throughout his writings, he shows special interest in the visual arts, as is evident in his poems and also in his book-length essay, Still Life with Oysters and Lemon (2001). He is currently at work on a memoir that centers on his poetic relationship with Walt Whitman, entitled What Is the Grass.
He is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently Deep Lane (W.W. Norton, 2015), a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life. But these poems seek repair, finally, through the possibilities that sustain the speaker above ground: art and ardor, animals and gardens, the pleasure of seeing, the world tuned by the word. Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems was published in 2008 and won the National Book Award for that year—in their citation, the National Book Award judges wrote, “Elegant, plain-spoken, and unflinching, Mark Doty’s poems in Fire to Fire gently invite us to share their ferocious compassion. With their praise for the world and their fierce accusation, their defiance and applause, they combine grief and glory in a music of crazy excelsis.” Doty is the first American poet to have won Great Britain’s T. S. Eliot Prize, for My Alexandria (1993), which also received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His other collections of poetry include: Turtle, Swan(1987); Atlantis (1995); Sweet Machine (1998); Source (2001); and the critically acclaimed volume, School of the Arts (HarperCollins, 2005).
Doty is a Distinguished Professor at Rutgers University, and also teaches in NYU’s low-residency MFA program in Paris.Biographical profile and photograph courtesy blueflowerarts.com