Mark Doty Archive

Still Life with Oysters and Lemon’s Meditation on Life, Death, and Memory

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If still life is a background of lustrous dark space against which shines life, Mark Doty uses this composition to show how memory illuminates certain people and objects while allowing others to recede.

Metaphor’s (Nearly) Infinite Wellspring

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Birds are not alone in singing or in originating metaphors. There are other winged creatures that croon and hum and carry. We are among multitudes that raise a chorus to the elements, especially in August. Cicadas, yes, but also crickets, katydids, and grasshoppers.

Review: WRITING HARD STORIES by Melanie Brooks

Sharply written, these intimate and insightful exchanges dispel the myth that perhaps we all, writers or not, have come to believe about our own narratives, our own lives: “The worst story that we can tell ourselves is that we are alone.”

Daily Details Made Monumental

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Exterior details lend themselves to the interior landscape of a character or narrator. What one chooses to notice, how one describes an object, says more about the speaker than it does about that thing. A character who spends a whole paragraph noticing someone’s unwashed, unkempt hair tells the reader