Mark Doty

Mark Doty Biography

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, which drastically changed Doty's writing. Roberts's death in 1994 inspired Doty to write ...

Mark Doty Comments

Jeanne Fiedler 06 November 2011

I am looking forward to reading Mark Doty's new book, 'Paragon Park.' I also just bought Paul Lisecky's book, 'The Burning House.' These two, I feel, are remarkable talents.

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Claire Marrone 09 November 2015

In Two Seconds, poem by Mark Doty published in Buffalo N.Y. Sunday morning newspaper. This comes to thank Mr. Doty for this most moving poem. He has said what needed to be said. Said it beautifully, profoundly. Taught us.

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A. 27 October 2021

Acts 16: 31,1 Corinthians 15: 1-8,1 Peter 1: 17-21, Revelation 22: 18-19

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A. 27 October 2021


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THis poem sucks, learn how to do poetry you

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Arlene 21 November 2018

Years ago, I heard Doty read the most amazing poem about a porcelain cup and how it was repaired after breaking. I cannot find it anywhere! I'd love some help.

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emily 04 February 2021

in Sweet Machine he has the poem 'Thirty Delf Tiles' the makes mention of a cup that's been repaired, not sure if that's what youre thinking of

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The Best Poem Of Mark Doty

The Embrace

You weren't well or really ill yet either;
just a little tired, your handsomeness
tinged by grief or anticipation, which brought
to your face a thoughtful, deepening grace.

I didn't for a moment doubt you were dead.
I knew that to be true still, even in the dream.
You'd been out--at work maybe?--
having a good day, almost energetic.

We seemed to be moving from some old house
where we'd lived, boxes everywhere, things
in disarray: that was the story of my dream,
but even asleep I was shocked out of the narrative

by your face, the physical fact of your face:
inches from mine, smooth-shaven, loving, alert.
Why so difficult, remembering the actual look
of you? Without a photograph, without strain?

So when I saw your unguarded, reliable face,
your unmistakable gaze opening all the warmth
and clarity of you--warm brown tea--we held
each other for the time the dream allowed.

Bless you. You came back, so I could see you
once more, plainly, so I could rest against you
without thinking this happiness lessened anything,
without thinking you were alive again.

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