The Poetry of Mark Doty

You are warmly invited to this fortnight’s staff-postgraduate

CONTEMPORARY POETRY DISCUSSION GROUP.

All with an interest in literature are welcome!

THURSDAY 26th July at 5:30pm
in HUMSS 112
Whiteknights Campus
We’ll be discussing the poetry of Mark Doty, the contemporary American poet and prose writer.

Doty was born in 1953. He is the author of several collections of poetry, most recently Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (2008), and of several memoirs and prose works, including Dog Years (2007) and Still Life with Oysters and Lemon (2001). He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, amongst others. He is currently a Distinguished Writer at Rutgers University. He lives in New York.

Amongst the topics we’re likely to discuss are memory, monuments and ruins, writing as excavation and-or construction, myth and legend and the contemporary poem, sensuality, sexuality and the body, the complex cultural networks that construct gay male identity in the context of the AIDS epidemic, the use of poetry as a way of finding temporary exemption from – or closer involvement with – the political sphere, the extent to which literary tradition, history and place inform Doty’s art.

Photocopies of the poems up for discussion will be available from Tuesday afternoon (tomorrow) in the usual place – the wire post racks outside HUMSS Room 112. They are from the 1993 collection My Alexandria, which was chosen by Philip Levine for the National Poetry Series (USA), and won the T. S. Eliot Prize. Here are two more recent poems, also available in print, but taken here from Doty’s website:

‘At the Gym’ (2002) http://www.markdoty.org/id11.html
And here is Doty reading from his work, at the 2006 Dodge Poetry Festival:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sbyQzGue1c

About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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