Mark Doty and Dorianne Laux write poems that are situated in a variety of settings, from California to Provincetown, Massachusetts, and portraits of people from a variety of walks of life. Mark Doty can spin out a meditative poem from looking at a crab’s shell he has seen on a beach, and Dorianne Laux writes about varieties of love in The Book of Men. Laux worked in a variety of jobs: sanitarium cook, maid, and gas station manager before graduating from Mills College with a degree in English and finding her way to poetry. Doty’s roots are in Tennessee; he went to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and then on to Goddard College for his MFA.
Laux’s most recent book The Book of Men is “Something of a baby boomer's field guide, this book portrays the legacy of the 1960s from the perspective of one who has survived and must look back on what that decade did and didn't change. And so, the Vietnam War, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Mick Jagger, Cher, Frank O'Hara, and Superman all make appearances. Laux's treatment of this era isn't without sentimentality, but her true aim is more probing, more elegiac&.”
Dorianne Laux is the author of five books of poetry, most recently, The Book of Men. Her fourth book of poems, Facts about the Moon, was the recipient of the Oregon Book Award and was short-listed for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. Widely anthologized, her work has appeared in the Best of APR, The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry and The Best of the Net. Laux teaches poetry in the MFA program at North Carolina State University.
The author of eight books of poetry, Mark Doty is the only American poet to have won Great Britain's T. S. Eliot Prize. His first collection, Turtle, Swan, appeared in 1987. 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 (HarperCollins, 2005). Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems was published in 2008. His next book of poetry, Deep Lane, is forthcoming.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 7 p.m.
2nd floor, L.V. Eberhard Center
Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus