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The poignant, accomplished new collection of poetry from the author of My Alexandria--1993 winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Times Book Award, 1993 National Book Award Finalist.
Mark Doty brings the vitality and imagination that illuminate his own work to his selections for the twenty-fifth volume in the Best American Poetry series. He has chosen poems of high moral earnestness and poems in a comic register; poems that tell stories and poems that test the boundaries of innovative composition. This landmark edition includes David Lehman's keen look at American poetry in his foreword, Mark Doty's gorgeous introduction, and notes from the poets revealing the germination of their work. Over the last twenty-five years, The Best American Poetry has become an annual rite of the poetry world, and this year's anthology is a welcome and essential addition to the series. SHERMAN ALEXIE * KAREN LEONA ANDERSON * RAE ARMANTROUT * JULIANNA BAGGOTT * DAVID BAKER * RICK BAROTt REGINALD DWAYNE BETTS * FRANK BIDART * BRUCE BOND * STEPHANIE BROWN * ANNE CARSON * JENNIFER CHANG * JOSEPH CHAPMAN * HEATHER CHRISTLE * HENRI COLE * BILLY COLLINS * PETER COOLEY * EDUARDO C. CORRAL * ERICA DAWSON * STEPHEN DUNN * ELAINE EQUI * ROBERT GIBB * KATHLEEN GRABER * AMY GLYNN GREACEN * JAMES ALLEN HALL * TERRANCE HAYES * STEVEN HEIGHTON * BRENDA HILLMAN * JANE HIRSHFIELD * RICHARD HOWARD * MARIE HOWE * AMORAK HUEY * JENNY JOHNSON * LAWRENCE JOSEPH * FADY JOUDAH * JOY KATZ * JAMES KIMBRELL * NOELLE KOCOT * MAXINE KUMIN * SARAH LINDSAY * AMIT MAJMUDAR * DAVID MASON * KERRIN McCADDEN * HONOR MOORE * MICHAEL MORSE * CAROL MUSKE-DUKES * ANGELO NIKOLOPOULOS * MARY OLIVER * STEVE ORLEN * ALICIA OSTRIKER * ERIC PANKEY * LUCIA PERILLO * ROBERT PINSKY * DEAN RADER * SPENCER REECE * PAISLEY REKDAL * MARY RUEFLE * DON RUSS * KAY RYAN * MARY JO SALTER * LYNNE SHARON SCHWARTZ * FREDERICK SEIDEL * BRENDA SHAUGHNESSY * PETER JAY SHIPPY * TRACY K. SMITH * BRUCE SNIDER * MARK STRAND * LARISSA SZPORLUK * DANIEL TOBIN * NATASHA TRETHEWEY * SUSAN WHEELER * FRANZ WRIGHT * DAVID YEZZI * DEAN YOUNG * KEVIN YOUNG
"Elegant, plain-spoken, and unflinching, Mark Doty's poems . . . invite us to share their ferocious compassion."--National Book Award, judges' citation for Fire to Fire Mark Doty's poetry has long been celebrated for its risk and candor, an ability to find transcendent beauty even in the mundane and grievous, an unflinching eye that--as Philip Levine says--"looks away from nothing." In the poems of Deep Lane the stakes are higher: there is more to lose than ever before, and there is more for us to gain. "Pure appetite," he writes ironically early in the collection, "I wouldn't know anything about that." And the following poem answers: Down there the little star-nosed engine of desire at work all night, secretive: in the morning a new line running across the wet grass, near the surface, like a vein. Don't you wish the road of excess led to the palace of wisdom, wouldn't that be nice? Deep Lane is a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life. But these poems seek repair, finally, through the possibilities that sustain the speaker aboveground: gardens and animals, the pleasure of seeing, the world tuned by the word. Time and again, an image of immolation and sacrifice is undercut by the fierce fortitude of nature: nature that is not just a solace but a potent antidote and cure. Ranging from agony to rapture, from great depths to hard-won heights, these are poems of grace and nobility.
Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives? When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family. As Beau bounds back into life, the two dogs become Mark Doty's intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when all else fails.<P><P> Dog Years is a remarkable work: a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Mark Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love. A book unlike any other, Mark Doty's surprising meditation is radiantly unsentimental yet profoundly affecting. Beautifully written, Dog Years is a classic in the making.
Mark Doty's Fire to Fire collects the best of his seven books of poetry, along with a generous selection of new work. His signature style encompasses both the plainspoken and the artfully wrought, as one of contemporary American poetry's most lauded, recognizable voices speaks to the crises and possibilities of our time.<P><P> Winner of the National Book Award
In Firebird, Mark Doty tells the story of a ten-year-old in a top hat, cane, and red chiffon scarf, interrupted while belting out Judy Garland's "Get Happy" by his alarmed mother at the bedroom door, exclaiming, "Son, you're a boy!"Firebird presents us with a heroic little boy who has quite enough worries without discovering that his dawning sexuality is the Wrong One. A self-confessed "chubby smart bookish sissy with glasses and a Southern accent," Doty grew up on the move, the family following his father's engineering work across America-from Tennessee to Arizona, Florida to California. A lyrical, heartbreaking comedy of one family's dissolution through the corrosive powers of alcohol, sorrow, and thwarted desire, Firebird is also a wry evocation of childhood's pleasures and terrors, a comic tour of American suburban life, and a testament to the transformative power of art.
The year is 1989 and Mark Doty's life has reached a state of enviable equilibrium. His reputation as a poet of formidable talent is growing, he enjoys his work as a college professor and, perhaps most importantly, he is deeply in love with his partner of many years, Wally Roberts. The harmonious existence these two men share is shattered, however, when they learn that Wally has tested positive for the HIV virus. From diagnosis to the initial signs of deterioration to the heartbreaking hour when Wally is released from his body's ruined vessel, Heaven's Coastis an intimate chronicle of love, its hardships, and its innumerable gifts. We witness Doty's passage through the deepest phase of grief -- letting his lover go while keeping him firmly alive in memory and heart -- and, eventually beyond, to the slow reawakening of the possibilities of pleasure. Part memoir, part journal, part elegy for a life of rare communication and beauty, Heaven's Coast evinces the same stunning honesty, resplendent descriptive power and rapt attention to the physical landscape that has won Doty's poetry such attention and acclaim.
In the search for his Alexandria, the holy city of the imagination where he might find love, transcendence, and beauty, the poet has gone into the actual cities of the world where he has found us, the unloved, the dying, the survivors, among the wreckage of our lives.
In the traditional of great literary manifestos, Norton is proud to present this powerful work by Adrienne Rich. With passion, critical questioning, and humor, Adrienne Rich suggests how poetry has actually been lived in the world, past and present. In this essay, which was the basis for her speech upon accepting the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, she ranges among themes including poetry's disparagement as "either immoral or unprofitable," the politics of translation, how poetry enters into extreme situations, different poetries as conversations across place and time. In its openness to many voices, Poetry and Commitment offers a perspective on poetry in an ever more divided and violent world. "I hope never to idealize poetry--it has suffered enough from that. Poetry is not a healing lotion, an emotional massage, a kind of linguistic aromatherapy. Neither is it a blueprint, nor an instruction manual, nor a billboard."
The darkly graceful poems in Mark Doty's seventh collection explore the ways in which we are educated by the implacable powers of time and desire. The world constantly renews itself, and the new brings both possibility and erasure. Given the limits of our own bodies, how are we to live within the inevitability of despair? This is the plainest of Doty's books, its language stripped and humbled. But whatever depths are sounded in these poems, their humane and open music sustains. Art itself instructs us. Lucian Freud's startling renditions of human skin, Virginia Woolf's ecstatic depiction of consciousness, Caravaggio's only-too-real people elevated to difficult glory -- all turn the light of human intelligence upon "the night of time." Formally inventive, warm, at once witty and disconsolate, School of the Arts represents a poet reinventing his own voice at midlife, finding a way through a troubled passage. Acutely attentive, insistently alive, this is a book of "fierce vulnerability."
This bold, wide-ranging collection -- his sixth book of poems -- demonstrates the unmistakable lyricism, fierce observation, and force of feeling that have made Mark Doty's poems special to readers on both sides of the Atlantic. The poems in Source deepen Doty's exploration of the paradox of selfhood. They offer a complex, boldly colored self-portrait; their muscular lines argue fiercely with the fact of limit; they pulse with the drama of perception and the quest to forge meaning.
Mark Doty's prose has been hailed as "tempered and tough, sorrowing and serene" (The New York Times Book Review) and "achingly beautiful" (The Boston Globe). In Still Life with Oysters and Lemon he offers a stunning exploration of our attachment to ordinary things-how we invest objects with human store, and why.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Mark Doty's last two award-winning collections of poetry, as well as his acclaimed memoir Heaven's Coast, used the devastation of AIDS as a lens through which to consider questions of loss, love and identity. The poems in his new collection, Sweet Machine, see the world from a new, hard-won perspective: A coming back to life, after so much death, a way of seeing the body's "sweet machine" not simply as a time bomb, but also as a vibrant, sensual, living thing. These poems are themselves "sweet machines"--lyrical, exuberant and joyous--and they mark yet another milestone in the extraordinary career of one of our most distinguished and accomplished poets.
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