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From the Desert to the Sea: A Video Conversation with Mark Doty – Poet, Essayist, Memoirist

From the Desert to the Sea:  A Video Conversation with Mark Doty – Poet, Essayist, Memoirist

 

 

INTRODUCTION: 2:45 min.





Introduction to Mark Doty

 

 

Mark Doty (b. 1953) is a poet, essayist, and memoirist. He received the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008.

Doty is the author of nine books of poetry and four books of prose.  In 2015, W.W. Norton published Deep Lane, “which the publisher calls a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life.”  His volumes of poetry include Sweet Machine (HarperCollins, 1998), Source, (HarperCollins, 2002), School of the Arts (HarperCollins, 2005) and Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (HarperCollins, 2008), which received the National Book Award.

Doty has taught at the University of Iowa, Princeton University, Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University, Cornell, and New York University. He was the John and Rebecca Moores Professor in the graduate program at The University of Houston Creative Writing Program for ten years, and is currently Distinguished Professor and Writer-in-Residence in the Department of English at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he directs Writers House, an undergraduate community for writers.

U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize recipient Stanley Kunitz said, “Mark Doty’s most representative poems are tender, intimate, open, and true.  They have their roots in the essential dailiness of this life, with its ritual round of small duties and encounters, and they open out . . . into a world of embracing sympathy, camaraderie,  and understanding.  With his clarity of vision and great heart, Doty stands among us an emblematic and shining presence.”

We interviewed Doty at the Miami Book Fair, MDC. The videos below are organized by Success Factor and run between 30 seconds and 3 minutes. Tap on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.

 

 

UNDERSTANDS THE AUDIENCE’S PERSPECTIVE: 1:27 min.





Tell us about your publishing history.

 

SERENDIPITY:  1:56 min.





Tell us a little about the many places where you have lived.

 

CREATIVE FLEXIBILITY: 1:15 min.





You grew up in the desert, but then lived many years by the ocean. How did the landscape impact your writing?

 

RESPECTS OTHER POINTS OF VIEW: 1:50 min.





Provincetown has such a large concentration of acclaimed poets. What kind of fellowship exists among the poets?

 

MIAMI INSIGHT: 0:39 sec.





Which poets with Miami connections do you know?

 

SEIZES OPPORTUNITIES: 1:02 min.





You have taught at some of the best universities. Why do you change jobs so often?

 

CREATES A UNIQUE VOICE:  1:42 min.





How does poetry criticism influence your work?

 

CRITICAL THINKING: 1:26 min.





Published prose always involves editors. Are poetry books edited by the publisher?

 

OVERCOMES CHALLENGES TO SUCCEED:  1:22 min.





What are your biggest challenges?

 

DEVELOP A DISTINCT VOICE:  1:03 min.





What are your thoughts about poetry readings?

 

SELF-CONFIDENCE:  1:07 min.





Mark Doty reading a poem about ticks — Deep Lane.

 

DEEP LANE

 

Into Eden came the ticks,

princes of this world,

heat-seeking, tiny, multitudinous

 

— Lord, why have you given them

a heart, a nervous system, a lit microchip

of a — brain, is it? — if not to invite Manicheanism;

 

hard to believe the force that shaped the mild tortoise

traversing the undergrowth with smallest steps,

the sway-necked lily,

 

hard to countenance that same mind

dotting paradise with pinhead demons

wanting nothing but to gorge, to suck

 

beyond the dreams of their hell-brothers

the mosquitoes — implacable, without boundary,

pure appetite.  I wouldn’t know anything about that.