Mark Doty on Sex, Smartphones, and Poetry in a Digital Age

By Jason Boog Comment

In the video embedded above, Granta created a short film about a deeply personal essay by an award winning poet–part of a new multimedia push that will soon include a smartphone app for the literary journal.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was National Book Award-winning poet Mark Doty. He talked about his autobiographical essay for Granta‘s Sex issue about an affair with another man that ended his marriage with his wife.

He also unveiled Granta‘s plans for a smartphone app and discussed the short film the literary journal produced about his personal essay. We concluded with a discussion about poetry in a digital age, as Doty shared the advice he gives to his poetry students.

Press play below to listen.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “I think the idea of offering the perspective of a visual image, a little music, makes a wonderful invitation into a work of literature–be it a poem, a memoir, whatever. Why not use every medium we can find to connect with the audience? I love that the people at Granta are about to put out a smartphone app around this same issue. You will be able to access some media related to the Sex issue on your smartphone very shortly.”

Doty concluded: “I love that literature (including memoir and poetry) is something that might get advertised. That has trailers, that has new ways of letting people know what’s going on. When John Freeman told me these videos would be made and he was busy casting me, my curiosity was very much piqued. Especially since it’s a pretty frank essay–the fact that they were making a movie about my sexual exploits was provocative, to say the least.”

If you want to read more coverage of Granta‘s multimedia efforts, follow this link. Full disclosure: This GalleyCat editor has written for Granta in the past.