Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Mass. in 1949, was educated in catholic schools, graduated from U. Mass. (Boston) in 1971 and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. Myles quickly became part of the reading, publishing and performance scene in the East Village, editing dodgems in the late 70s and becoming part of the community of St. Mark’s Poetry Project where they studied and were friends with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Paul Violi and Bill Zavatsky. In 1979 they were assistant to poet James Schuyler. Myles was Artistic Director of the Poetry Project in 1984-86. Myles is a vivid interpreter of her own work and travels widely in the US and Canada and internationally giving readings and performances. They are the author of more than a dozen volumes of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction including, Snowflake/different streets (Wave Books, 2012), Sorry, Tree (Wave Books, 2007), Chelsea Girls, Not Me, Skies, The New Fuck You/adventures in lesbian reading, Cool for You, and The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art, and Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) published by OR books and winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction. They wrote the libretti for Hell, an opera with music composed by Michael Webster which was performed on both coasts, 2004-2006. They have received a Guggenheim fellowship, a Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’ grant, and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Myles contributes to a wide number of publications including ArtForum, Bookforum, Parkett, and The Believer. They are a Professor Emeritus at UC San Diego where they taught for five years. They live in New York.
Myles is a voice of reason and a voice of courage. Above all, she’s a voice of taking your art completely seriously while not taking yourself too seriously at all.
—Emily Gould, Poetry Magazine
Myles, now something of a wise yet still utterly hip elder of the poetry world, has always been the subject of her own poems, although never in a self-aggrandizing way; instead, she continually espouses a welcoming atmosphere, a narrative tone that enacts something of a friendship with her readers...
—Review of Contemporary Fiction
Whether she's writing poetry, essays, novels, or memoir, Myles is quite simply one of the best stylists in the business right now. Her voice...is so singular and specific to her that it comes back around and gathers the weight of the universal.
—Paul Constant, The Stranger
Conversational yet exact, Myles navigates contemporary landscape with seemingly effortless wit and tenderness.
Myles isn’t afraid to explore the impersonal truth of things. Her firm and rooted sense of the poem gives her a marvelous inner authority others fail to achieve.
—Dale Smith, Bookslut
Reviews of books by Eileen Myles
- Eileen Myles’ website
- A whole website devoted strictly to loving Eileen Myles: Fuck Yeah Eileen Myles
- Poems, articles, recordings, and blog posts by Eileen Myles at the Poetry Foundation
- “Dear Adam” (in Poetry)
- “A hundred per cent” (in Poetry)
- “Transmission” (in Poetry)
- “Dream” (in Poetry)
- Three poems (in NAP)
- “Choke” (on Poets.org)
- “15 Minutes” (in The Rumpus)
- Two Poems (at PEN America)
- “Washington” (in The American Reader)
- “Inside the Tour” (in Bookforum)
- “Eileen's Poem” (on The Poetry Foundation)
Interviews and Discussions
- Literary Hub, with Christopher Lydon
- The Literary Review, with Morgan Parker
- The Hairpin, with Edith Zimmerman
- KCRW’s Bookworm, with Michael Silverblatt (also includes Wave author Maggie Nelson)
- HTMLGiant, with Christopher Higgs
- The Rumpus, with Chelsey Johnson
- BookForum, with Jesse Pearson
- Vice Magazine, with Jonathan Galassi
- Art in America Magazine, with Kayla Guthrie
- After Ellen, with Trish Bendix
- The Brooklyn Rail, with Jeremy Sigler
- Reading at City Lights in San Francisco
- Reading at the Hedreen Gallery in Seattle
- Eileen Myles' page on PennSound
- At State of the Union: a Poetry Reading (Myles was one of fifty contributors to State of the Union: 50 Political Poems)
- CABINET reading with Maggie Nelson, Wayne Koestenbaum and others
- Reading and an interview with Myles by France 24
Reading at Artists' Television Access in San Francisco for Small Press Traffic:
Reading for Small Press Traffic:
Reading and animation by Scott Gelber:
Reading for Poeteevee: