Press Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191
Public Contact: Poetry and Literature Recorded Announcement (202) 707-5394

January 25, 1999

Poets Mark Doty and Dionisio Martínez to Read at the Library of Congress

Poets Mark Doty and Dionisio Martínez will read from their work at the Library of Congress at 6:45 p.m. February 18, in the Mumford Room, on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The reading is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund. Tickets are not required.

Mr. Doty is the recipient of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, the T. S. Eliot Prize and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award. He was also a finalist for the National Book Award for My Alexandria and has garnered numerous other grants and awards for his work. His most recent collection of poetry is Sweet Machine (Harper Flamingo, 1998). He lives in Provincetown, Mass., and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wrote 1997-98 Witter Bynner Fellow Carol Muske: "Mark Doty is a master, repainting our sad daily canvas, heightening the gold light, the diffusion, the shocked shattered glass and the artificial bath of attitude, letting us see it all arrayed, as he says, under the uncompromising vault of heaven."

Mr. Martínez was born in Cuba in 1956 and lived in northern Spain and in Southern California from 1965 to 1972; since 1972, his home has been in Tampa, Fla. He conducts workshops at the YMCA Writer's Voice and at public and private schools, and writes reviews and essays for the Miami Herald, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the St. Petersburg Times. He is the author of History as a Second Language (1993), which won the Ohio State University Press/The Journal Award for Poetry; and Bad Alchemy (1995), which was included in the New York Public Library's 1995 "Books to Remember" list. His awards and honors include Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and the Whiting Writer's Award.

Mr. Martínez's work, writes poet Peter Meinke in Organica Quarterly, "sweeps the reader along on a wave of dazzling imagery and verbal magic. . . . This is an original voice, a fusion of American energy and Latin American mysticism, Whitman filtered through Marquez and Paz."

The Poetry and Literature Center, which administers the poetry series, is also the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position that has existed since 1936, when the late philanthropist Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress. Archibald MacLeish, who was Librarian from 1939 to 1944, determined the Consultant in Poetry should be an annual appointment. Since then, many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194 in 1985, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. Robert Pinsky, the 1997-1999 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, is the award-winning translator of The Inferno of Dante and a creative writing professor at Boston University. He suggests authors to read in the literary series, plans other special events during the literary season, and usually introduces the programs.

Interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) will be provided if requested five business days in advance of the event. Call (202) 707-6362 TTY and voice to make a specific request. For other ADA accommodations, contact the Disability Employment office at (202) 707-9948 TTY and (202) 707-7544 voice.

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PR 99-008
1/25/99
ISSN 0731-3527

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