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A frank and fearless new collection from the winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize

Mark Doty’s poetry has long been celebrated for its risk and candour, an ability to find transcendent beauty even in the mundane and grievous, an unflinching eye that – as Philip Levine says – ‘looks away from nothing’. In the poems of Deep Lane the stakes are higher: there is more to lose than ever before, and there is more for us to gain. ‘Pure appetite,’ he writes ironically early in the collection, ‘I wouldn’t know anything about that.’ And the following poem answers:

Down there the little star-nosed engine of desire
at work all night, secretive: in the morning

a new line running across the wet grass, near the surface,

like a vein. Don’t you wish the road of excess
led to the palace of wisdom, wouldn’t that be nice?

Deep Lane is a book of descents: into the earth beneath the garden, into the dark substrata of a life. But these poems seek repair, finally, through the possibilities that sustain the speaker above ground: gardens and animals; the pleasure of seeing; the world tuned by the word. Time and again, an image of immolation and sacrifice is undercut by the fierce fortitude of nature: nature that is not just a solace but a potent antidote and cure. Ranging from agony to rapture, from great depths to hard-won heights, these are poems of grace and nobility.

Reviews

Deep Lane, [Doty’s] best work yet, is astute, contemplative and deeply moving.

Washington Post

Mark Doty’s ninth collection displays his customary gift for emphatic observation, collapsing the distance between poet and subject to establish an observance of both secular and sexual mysteries.

W N Herbert, Literary Review

Full of urban romanticism, with images of delving and desire and the search for “the wild unsayable”, mixed in with wonderings about his parents.

John Walsh, Independent

The collection is permeated with a sense of finding depth, travelling downward and into roots.

Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph

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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback

    9780224099837

    April 15, 2015

    Jonathan Cape

    80 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448192519

    April 2, 2015

    Vintage Digital

    80 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Mark Doty

Theories and Apparitions
Dog Years
School of the Arts
Source
Firebird
Sweet Machine
Heaven's Coast
Atlantis
My Alexandria

Recommendations

Fish In A Tree
Sir Henry Parkes: The Australian Colossus
The Ode Less Travelled
Millefiori
Doctor Who: Now We Are Six Hundred
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Unreconciled
The Abandoned Settlements
The Bone Flowers
A Sackful of Limericks
Odes
Selected Poems
Blue Laws
Of Love and Desire
Talking Dead
Made In Detroit
Elegy For A Broken Machine
Meanjin First Edition
The Days of Surprise
Human Work