Mark Doty

Mark Doty (born August 10, 1953) is an American poet and memoirist.



He was born in Maryville, Tennessee, earned his Bachelor of Arts from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, and received his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Goddard College in Vermont.

In 1989, his partner Wally Roberts tested positive for HIV,[1] which drastically changed Doty's writing. Roberts's death in 1994 inspired Doty to write Atlantis. Heaven's Coast: A Memoir also deals with this subject. In 1995, he won the £10,000 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry, the first American poet to have done so.

He has written twelve books of poetry and three memoirs. Firebird told the story of his childhood in the American South and in Arizona. Dog Years was a memoir of the lives of two of his dogs who Doty had while dealing with the death of his partner and the devastation of 9-11. 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." Dog Years is the winner of the 2008 American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award. His last book of poetry Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems won the 2008 National Book Award for poetry.

He lives in New York City and Fire Island, New York. He was the John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the graduate program at The University of Houston Creative Writing Program. 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.

He now teaches at Rutgers University. His husband since 1995 is the writer Paul Lisicky.



  • 1987: Turtle, Swan, Boston: David R. Godine (reissued, University of Illinois Press, 1999)[2]
  • 1991: Bethlehem in Broad Daylight, Boston: David R. Godine (reissued, University of Illinois Press, 1999)[2]
  • 1993: My Alexandria, Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press (chosen for the National Poetry Series by Philip Levine); London: Jonathan Cape, 1995[2]
  • 1995: Atlantis, New York: HarperCollins; London: Jonathan Cape, 1996[2]
  • 1998: Sweet Machine, New York, HarperFlamingo; London: Jonathan Cape, 1998[2]
  • 2001: Source, New York: HarperCollins; London: Jonathan Cape, 2002[2]
  • 2005: School of the Arts, New York: HarperCollins; London: Jonathan Cape, 2005[2]
  • 2008: Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems, New York, HarperCollins[2]
  • 2008: Theories and Apparitions, London: Jonathan Cape[2]


  • 1996: Heaven's Coast (memoir), New York: HarperCollins; London: Jonathan Cape, 1996 (paperback); Stockholm: Kentaur[2]
  • 1999: Firebird: A Memoir, New York: HarperCollins; London: Jonathan Cape, 2000[2]
  • 2001: Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, Boston: Beacon Press[2]
  • 2007: Dog Years, New York: HarperCollins; London: Jonathan Cape, 2007; also published in Brazil, Italy and France[2]
  • 2010: The Art of Description, St. Paul: Graywolf Books[2]

Limited and special editions


  • 2003: Open House: Writers Redefine Home, St. Paul: Graywolf Books[2]


  • 1996: My Alexandria, University of Illinois Press[2]


  • 1998: Poetry Heaven, a three-part video series, The Dodge Foundation, New Jersey[2]
  • 1999: Mark Doty: Readings & Conversations, Lannan Literary Videos, Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles[2]
  • 1999: "Fooling with Words", Bill Moyers PBS special, September[2]


  1. ^ Toibin, Colm (2002), Love in a Dark Time: And Other Explorations of Gay Lives and Literature, Simon and Schuster, p. 241, ISBN 0743244672 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Web page titled "Mark Doty Books" at Mark Doty website, accessed May 5, 2008

External links

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