My Alexandria

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

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Selected by

Philip Levine