Mark Doty, the only American poet to have won Great Britain's T. S. Eliot Prize, is the author of six books of poems. The first, Turtle, Swan, appeared in 1987. His third collection, My Alexandria (1993), received both the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Since then he has published Atlantis (1995); Sweet Machine (1998); Source (2001); and the critically acclaimed volume of poems, School of the Arts (2005), HarperCollins. In 2008, Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems was published, and won the National Book Award for 2008. He is the author of three memoirs: Heaven's Coast (1996), Firebird (1999), and Dog Years (2007), as well as The Art of Description: World Into Word, a volume in the popular "Art of" series, a line of books intended to reinvigorate the practice of craft and criticism. His interest in the visual arts is evident not only in his poems but also in his book-length essay “Still Life with Oysters and Lemon” (2001). Among his many awards are two NEA fellowships, Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundation Fellowships, a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Award, and the Witter Byner Prize. As the award citation for the last of these noted, "Mark Doty's poems extend the range of the American lyric." Doty was recently elected as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Gerald Stern says of him, "Mark Doty writes with absolute exactitude, with one eye on the ideal or absolute and one on the real; the ghost of Walt Whitman on one hand, and a laundromat on 16th Street in New York, on the other. There is not a finer, more delicate, more sublime poet writing today in the English language. It's a poet's job to show us what we knew but never saw before; and it's a poet's job to tell us over and over what love is. Doty is this poet."
Doty teaches at Rutgers University, and is a frequent guest at Columbia University, Hunter College, and NYU. He lives in Houston and in New York City.