School of the Arts (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
Mark Doty began honing his craft as a poet during the 1970’s but did not publish what he considers his first collection of poetry, Turtle, Swan, until 1987. His third collection, My Alexandria, was published in 1993 and won the National Book Critics Circle Award for poetry. The volume also won the Los Angeles Times Book Award for poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize for the best book of poetry published in the United Kingdom. With these honors, Doty has established himself as one of the leading American poets of his generation. He has been praised by fellow poets and critics alike for his ability to convey compassion for those who are in need of healing, those who have fallen through the cracks of society. Throughout his poetry, Doty always has strived for clarity of purpose, for a precise vision that is welcoming for the reader.
He also does not shy away from uncomfortable subject matter. Doty was devastated in 1994 by the death of his lover, Wally Roberts, from complications related to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). His 1996 memoir, Heaven’s Coast, details the tortured experience of losing Roberts to AIDS. As in his poetry, Doty found a way to move on, to come to terms with loss in the act of writing. Doty understands that without the creative outlet he would not have survived such a loss. Doty published his fourth collection of poetry, Atlantis, in 1995. The volume concerns itself with the havoc...
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2006)
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