MY ALEXANDRIA Poems by Mark Doty (University of Illinois Press). Doty's third volume, selected by Philip Levine for the 1993 National Poetry Series, is built around impermanence and doom, and though AIDS is a pervasive metaphor, the crystalline sensibility and breathtaking beauty of these poems is redemptive (on several levels) rather than depressive. Endearingly honest, yet non-confessional, these long unsentimental poems masterfully evoke the tension of the dispossessed, from homeless poets to the dying man who gives away all his animals.
The Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalists and winners are selected in each category by an independent panel of judges. Winners will be announced in the Book Review issue of October 31.