It was at Civitella that Mark wrote most of his last book, Almost Invisible, a brilliant collection of prose poems, several of which were selected for The Best American Poetry (2011 and 2012 editions). He usually wrote sitting in the sun at the picnic table of the Fellows' Garden.
Mark moved from Chicago to New York, from New York to Madrid, and back to New York. With each move he pared down his library. “There's only about 400 books that really mean anything to me anymore," he said. "I just want to get down to 400 books.” Civitella was the lucky recipients of his cast-offs.
His initial gifts of books to Civitella numbered 1200 volumes, primarily poetry in English, but many books of poetry in Spanish and Italian. There were numerous volumes of literary criticism, philosophy, and the classics.
The last time Mark was a Director's Guest at Civitella, in 2011, he was reading the new translation of Don Quixote. “I don't want it to end,” he said, “I am reading it so slowly because I don't want to finish it.”