Home Official News Releases Drake alumnus Mark Doty honored with National Book Award for poetry

Drake alumnus Mark Doty honored with National Book Award for poetry

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Mark Doty, photo by Margaretta Mitchell.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

Drake University Professor Emeritus of English Bruce Martin said he couldn’t have predicted former student Mark Doty‘s recent honor — a National Book Award for Poetry — but he sure wasn’t surprised.

“Mark is a good person and extremely deserving,” said Martin, who taught Doty while he was a student at Drake. “Mark was a wonderful student — the type of person you would want to have in class and as a teacher. He is intelligent, curious, responsive, personable and articulate.”

Doty, a 1978 Drake graduate, recently won the award for his book “Fire to Fire,” a collection of works from his seven poetry books.

The National Book Awards recognize literary excellence in four categories — fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people’s literature — and are given by writers to writers.

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“Fire to Fire”

Doty is the John and Rebecca Moores professor at the University of Houston and teaches in the English graduate program.

He has received many awards for his poetry and nonfiction prose books:

•    National Book Critics Circle Award

•    PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction

•    Los Angeles Times Book Prize

•    Whiting Writers Award

•    Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award

•    T.S. Eliot Prize in the United Kingdom

His poetry also has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The London Review of Books, Ploughshares, Poetry and The New Yorker.

In addition, Doty has received fellowships from the Dorothy and Lewis
B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public
Library, Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and
the Ingram Merrill Foundation.