When Mark Doty's My Alexandria was published in 1993, the response was one of unanimous celebration. Writing with unmatched technical virtuosity and stunning honesty Doty never flinches from his subject - how we live when what we live for is about to be taken from us - and the poems collected in My Alexandria revealed powerfully the inextricable connection between communion and loss.
In his latest collection, Atlantis, Doty claims the mythical lost island as his own: a paradise whose memory he must keep alive at the same time that he is forced to renounce its hold on him. Atlantis recedes, just as the lives of those Doty loves continue to be extinguished by the devastation of AIDS. Doty's struggle is to reconcile with, and even to celebrate the evanescence of our earthly connections - and to understand how we can love more at the very moment that we must consent to let go.
Atlantis is a work of astounding maturity and grace, and it will further the already extraordinary reputation of this poet who seeks - and finds - redemption in his brilliant and courageous poems.