New York State Writers Institute
Mark Doty
MARK DOTY
(photo: © Margaretta K. Mitchell)

November 13, 2001
(Tuesday)
4:00 Informal Seminar, Assembly Hall, CC
8:00 p.m. Reading
Recital Hall, PAC

UAlbany, Uptown Campus
Still Life with Oysters and Lemon

(photo: ©1983 Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Mark Doty is recognized as one of the most accomplished poets in America. Doty first achieved major international recognition with the publication of his third poetry collection, My Alexandria (1993), a series of reflections on death, beauty, and the AIDS epidemic. Many of the poems in the collection are responses to the experiences and sufferings of Doty's partner, Wally Roberts, who died of AIDS in 1994. My Alexandria received the National Poetry Series Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the National Book Critics' Circle Award, and the T. S. Eliot Prize for Best Book of Poetry Published in the United Kingdom (the first book by an American to be so honored).

He is the author of six poetry volumes including Turtle Swan (1987), Bethlehem in Broad Daylight (1991), Sources (2001), Sweet Machine (1998), Atlantis (1995), which won the Boston Review Poetry Prize and the Lambda Literary Award, and My Alexandria (1993, U Illinois, ISBN 0-252-06317-1) which won the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has also written two memoirs, Firebird (1999), and Heaven's Coast (1996), Book of the Year and winner of the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first book of nonfiction.

His most recent book is Still Life with Oysters and Lemons (2001, Beacon Press, ISBN 0-8070-6608-7) and is a rich prose work that combines memoir with artistic and philosophical musings on Dutch Renaissance art, thoughts on the craft of poetry, and other musings.

Doty serves as Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Houston, where he was chosen "Outstanding Professor of the Year" by the Graduate English Society. He is also a guest faculty member in the Creative Writing Program at NYU (Spring 2001 and 2002). He has served as judge for a number of major poetry prizes, including the National Book Award for Poetry the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Poetry Award, the Poetry Center Book Award, the PEN West Book Award in Poetry, the Lenore Marshall Prize, and the National Poetry Series.

"Doty's observations on balance, grief, beauty, space, love and time are imparted with wisdom and poetic grace. This little book is a gem." - Library Journal on Still Life with Oysters and Lemons

"[Doty is] poised on exact perception. When he sees the ocean--the salt spray hits you." - Patricia Hampl in Commonweal

"[Doty] has the courage to extract beauty out of the living moments created by death. . . .The pain, the memories and the surviving beauty strengthen and nourish him." - Los Angeles Times Book Review

My AlexandriaHeaven's CoastFirebirdAtlantis
Mark Doty, 11/13/01, UAlbany
(credit: Judy Axenson)
Writers Online Magazine Article
Beacon Press