This is the first edition of one of the most highly praised and touching collections of poems to appear in recent years. In selecting it for the "National Poetry Series", Philip Levine said: 'The courage of this book is that it looks away from nothing: the miracle is that wherever it looks it finds poetry...Mark Doty is a maker of big, risky, fearless poems in which ordinary human experience becomes music'. Mark Doty, the recipient of a 1994 Whiting Writers' Award, is the author of two previous books of poetry, "Turtle, Swan" and "Bethlehem in Broad Daylight". He is winner of: the T.S. Eliot Prize, 1995; winner of a Whiting Writers' Award, 1994; winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; finalist, National Book Award, 1993; and, winner of the "L.A. Times" Book Award in Poetry.
A versatile, technically astute poet, Doty masterfully tackles themes of death, beauty and discovery in this collection. Particularly moving is "Days of 1981," in which he recalls the memory of his first gay lover--a sculptor he met in a bar. "Nothing was promised, nothing sustained/or lethal offered. I wish I'd kept the heart./Even the emblems of our own embarrassment/become acceptable to us, after a while." Doty derives much of his success by offering readers a full gulp of his longish verse, rather than teasing, incomplete sips. My Alexandria won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry for 1993.