HEADLINERS: Joyelle McSweeney, Mark Doty, & Matthea Harvey
Joyelle McSweeney was born in Boston and spent most of her childhood in suburban Philadelphia. She has a BA from Harvard University; an MPhil in English studies from Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar; and an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop.
McSweeney’s collections of poetry include The Red Bird (2002), winner of the 2001 Fence Modern Poetry Series, and The Commandrine and Other Poems (2004). She is also author of the novelsNyland, the Sarcographer (2007) and Flet (2007).
In an interview McSweeney described what she called her “magpie-aesthetic,” apparent in The Red Bird, noting that “even when I’m not writing with overtly found materials, I think my brain works on language the same way—selecting, assembling, sounding out complexes and runs.” Matthew Henriksen commented on the technique in a review of The Commandrine and Other Poems: “Perspectives may diverge and take hold of their own visions. . . . McSweeney treats words, like images, as instances of their precise contents rather than symbolic references.”
Joyelle McSweeney is co-founder of www.actionyes.org, a web-based journal featuring international writing and hybrid forms, and Action Books, a press that publishes poetry and books in translation. She has taught at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
2014, Joyelle McSweeney was a featured writer for Harriet.
Mark Doty‘s Fire
to Fire: New and Selected Poems, won the National Book Award for Poetry in 2008. His eight books of poems include School of the Arts, Source, and My Alexandria. He has also published four volumes of nonfiction prose: Still Life with Oysters and Lemon, Heaven’s Coast, Firebird and Dog Years, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2007. The Art of Description, a handbook for writers, appeared in 2011.
Doty’s poems have appeared in many magazines including The Atlantic Monthly, The London Review of Books,Ploughshares, Poetry, and The New Yorker. Widely anthologized, his poems appear in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry and many other collections.
Doty’s work has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Whiting Writers Award, two Lambda Literary Awards and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction. He is the only American poet to have received the T.S. Eliot Prize in the U.K., and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim, Ingram Merrill and Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Foundations, and from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Doty lives in New York City and on the east end of Long Island. He is Professor/Writer in Residence at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Two new books are forthcoming, both from W.W. Norton: What Is the Grass, a prose meditation on Walt Whitman and the ecstatic, and Deep Lane, a new volume of poems.
Matthea Harvey is the author of Sad Little Breathing Machine (Graywolf, 2004) and Pity the Bathtub Its Forced Embrace of the Human Form (Alice James Books, 2000). Her third book of poems, Modern Life (Graywolf, 2007) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Cirlcle Award and a New York Times Notable Book. Her first children’s book, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake, illustrated by Elizabeth Zechel, was
published byTin House Books in 2009. An illustrated erasure, titled Of Lamb, with images by Amy Jean Porter, will be published by McSweeney’s in 2010. Matthea is a contributing editor to jubilat, Meatpaper and BOMB. She teaches poetry at Sarah Lawrence and lives in