Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles, photo by Shae Detar
Eileen Myles, photo by Shae Detar

Eileen Myles came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet, subsequently a novelist, public talker, and art journalist. A Sagittarius, their twenty books include evolutionAfterglow: (a dog memoir)I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems, Chelsea Girls, and a 2017 re-issue of Cool for You.

They graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1971. Their poetic education primarily took place at St. Mark’s Poetry Project from 1975 to 1977 through attending readings and participating in workshops led by Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, Bill Zavatsky, and Paul Violi. From 1984 to 1986, Myles was the artistic director at St. Mark’s.

From 1977 to 1979 they published dodgems, a poetry magazine that represented a collision of New York School, Language Poetry, performance texts, unconventional prose, as well as tossed-off notes from neighbors and celebrities. In 1979 they worked as assistant to poet James Schuyler. In 2004 Myles wrote the libretto for the opera Hell composed by Michael Webster. In 2010 they created and directed for the Dia Center for the Arts a performance piece, The Collection of Silence, which involved dancers, poets, children, visual artists, and Buddhists in a collective public act of silence at the Hispanic Society in New York. In 2016 Myles began showing the photos they had been posting on Instagram at the Schoolhouse Gallery in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and in 2018-2019 at Bridget Donahue Gallery in New York City.

They have contributed to a wide number of publications including the New Yorker, Harpers, the New York Times, the Nation, Playboy and New York Magazine. They’ve contributed essays to catalogs for individual artists and have been reading, talking, and presenting their work in festivals, at colleges, galleries, museums, and bookstores all over North America, South America, Europe, Iceland, Australia, and New Zealand since the early 1980s.

Myles is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in nonfiction, four Lambda Book Awards, the Shelley Prize from the PSA, and has received a poetry award from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. In 2016 they received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. They live in New York City and Marfa, Texas.

selected bibliography

Evolution by Eileen Myles
evolution (2018)
Afterglow by Eileen Myles
Afterglow (a Dog Memoir) (2017)
I Must Be Living Twice by Eileen Myles
I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems (2015)
Cool for You by Eileen Myles
Cool for You (2001)

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online resources

Eileen Myles’s website
“Myles Considers Instagram a Form of Poetry,” Vanity Fair, September 11, 2018
“Trump Is a Performance Artist: An Interview with Myles,” the Paris Review, September 5, 2018
An interview with Myles in Interview Magazine, December 17, 2015

Video: Interview with Myles on the Louisiana Channel: A Poem Says ‘I Want’