When Mark Doty's My Alexandria was published in 1993, the response was one of unanimous celebration. Writing with unmatched technical virtuosity and stunning honesty Doty never flinches from his subject - how we live when what we live for is about to be taken from us - and the poems collected in My Alexandria revealed powerfully the inextricable connection between communion and loss.
In Atlantis, Doty claims the mythical lost island as his own: a paradise whose memory he must keep alive at the same time that he is forced to renounce its hold on him. Atlantis recedes, just as the lives of those Doty loves continue to be extinguished by the devastation of AIDS. Doty's struggle is to reconcile with, and even to celebrate the evanescence of our earthly connections - and to understand how we can love more at the very moment that we must consent to let go.
Atlantis is a work of astounding maturity and grace, and it will further the already extraordinary reputation of this poet who seeks - and finds - redemption in his brilliant and courageous poems.
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In his latest book, Atlantis, a collection of magnificent acts of attention, Mark Doty has found an ancient, radiant world within ours. Like the vanished continent of Atlantis, the present he occupies is submerged in loss. But is is luminous, a land bridge between the world of life and death...sublime, immediate, disappearing - New York Times Book Review
Doty is a land of plenty, his poems celebrate abundance - Guardian
The American poet Mark Doty dissents from the assumption that a plain style is more truthful than an elaborate one. Some poets are hypnotised by language and get caught flat-footed, but Doty is witty and quick... Wonderful - Daily Telegraph
Doty's poetry mixes acute observation with an astute ear to create lines that not only luxuriate in their own beauty but also have a sense of real urgency. Scintillating and searing, he seems to have created a new poetic form; a synthesis of emotional power and linguistic experiment - Independent
Mark Doty is the author of seven poetry collections and three books of non-fiction. He has won numerous awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. He is a professor at the University of Houston and lives in New York City.