Centrum is excited welcome poet Mark Doty back to the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference in 2017. His Conference workshop will focus on writing new poems:
UNSCREW THE LOCKS FROM THE DOORS: Writing New Poems
Walt Whitman, early in the “language experiment” he called LEAVES OF GRASS, calls on his readers to open the locked doors and unscrew the doors from the jambs. In Whitman’s spirit, this workshop is designed to invite poets to move in new directions by generating new work and then developing drafts in various directions. The goal is to work and work, suspending judgment, diving deep into what we don’t know how to do yet, seeking insight, complexity and strategies that might lead us, like new roads, to new places.
Since the publication of his first volume of verse, “Turtle, Swan”, in 1987, Mark Doty has been recognized as one of the most accomplished poets in America. Hailed for his elegant, intelligent verse, Doty has often been compared to James Merrill, Walt Whitman and C.P. Cavafy. His syntactically complex and aesthetically profound free verse poems, odes to urban gay life, and quietly brutal elegies to his lover, Wally Roberts, have been hailed as some of the most original and arresting poetry written today.
The recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, Doty has also won a number of prestigious literary awards, including the Whiting Writer’s Award, the T. S. Eliot Prize, the National Poetry Series, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first nonfiction, and the National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems (2008). A long-time resident of Provincetown, Massachusetts, Doty teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey.