Graham N. Drake
Born in 1953 in Tennessee, Mark Doty spent his childhood in Arizona, Florida, and California. During his undergraduate years at Drake University (Des Moines, Iowa), he embarked on the serious pursuit of poetry. He later earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Goddard College in Vermont.
At the age of eighteen he married poet Ruth Doty; they were divorced a decade later, and Mark Doty openly embraced his gay identity. He met Wally Roberts, a department store window designer, in 1982. Roberts and Doty lived together in New York, Vermont, and then Provincetown, Massachusetts, until Roberts’s death from AIDS in 1994. Their relationship in the midst of Roberts’s illness became the focus for a number of poems and the memoir Heaven’s Coast. While continuing to publish award-winning volumes of verse, Doty also taught at Goddard College, Brandeis University, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Iowa, and the University of Utah. He currently lives with his partner, novelist Paul Lipsicky, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and in Texas, where Doty teaches at the University of Houston.
Doty’s poetry collections include Turtle, Swan (1987); Bethlehem in Broad Daylight (1991); My Alexandria (1993); Atlantis (1995); Sweet Machine (1998); and Source (2002). He has also published three major prose works: the memoirs Heaven’s Coast (1996) and Firebird (1999) and an extended essay on art and poetics, Still Life with Oysters and Lemon (2001).
His work has garnered a series of major literary awards, four for My Alexandria alone: the National Poetry Series and the Los Angeles Times Book Award in 1993 and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1994. This was followed with the T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry published in the United Kingdom (1995); he was the