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Mark DotyPoet Mark Doty, U.Va.'s Rea Visiting Writer, Will Present a Reading and Talk

January 30, 2001 -- Mark Doty, one of the country’s most celebrated contemporary poets and literary figures, will present a public reading as the Rea Visiting Writer at the University of Virginia in February.

The winner of numerous awards for his five poetry collections and two nonfiction books, Doty will read from his work Feb. 15. The event will be at 8 p.m. in the U.Va. Bookstore mezzanine and is free and open to the public. He was scheduled to give an informal talk on the craft of poetry Feb. 13, but that talk has been postponed.

His poetry collections include, most recently, "Sweet Machine" (1998), and "My Alexandria" (1993), which focuses on the AIDS crisis. The latter book was chosen by Philip Levine for the National Poetry Series, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and Britain’s T.S. Eliot Prize and was also a National Book Award finalist.

In 1996 Doty won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction for "Heaven’s Coast," a bestselling memoir about a gay relationship and his partner’s battle with AIDS.

Another autobiographical book, "Firebird," about a boy’s experiences related to art, aesthetics, identity and gender, was published in 1999. A new prose book, "Still Life with Oysters and Lemon," is due to appear this month.

Born in 1953, Doty has been widely praised both for his distinctive writing style and for his ability to blend political and artistic dimensions in his work. He presently teaches in the graduate writing program at the University of Houston.

The Rea Visiting Writer program in U.Va.'s English department is sponsored by the Dungannon Foundation and the Henry Hoyns Fund. During their visits, Rea writers work with students in the department's Creative Writing Program.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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