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Video courtesy of HoCoPoLitSo

In this edition of HoCoPoLitSo’s “The Writing Life,” poet Sue Ellen Thompson speaks with poet and memoirist Mark Doty about memory, mackerel, AIDS, Labradors and the challenge of writing about all of those topics. Doty, the author of nine books of poetry and three memoirs, is known for his descriptive power. He reads “A Display of Mackerel,” and discusses how description can lead to revelation. “Poetry can’t solely occupy the position of directness,” Doty explains. “Poetry likes to find oblique ways to approach its material, otherwise it feels incomplete.” Doty also reads his poem “Brilliance,” a new poem, “Pescadero,” and from his memoirs Firebird and Dog Years.

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