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Eileen Myles

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Eileen Myles

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1949, Eileen Myles attended Catholic school in Arlington, MA, and earned her BA from the University of Massachusetts (Boston). In 1974, she joined The Poetry Project at St. Mark's in New York City, where her teachers included Alice Notley, Paul Violi and Ted Berrigan. In 1979, she worked as an assistant to poet James Schuyler.

Myles' first major collection, Not Me, was published by Semiotext(e) in 1991. Her later volumes include Maxfield Parrish (Black Sparrow Press, 1995), School of Fish (Black Sparrow Press, 1997), Skies (Black Sparrow Press, 2001), and Sorry, Tree (Wave Books, 2007). She is also the author two novels, Inferno: A Poet's Novel (OR Books, 2010), winner of the 2011 Lambda Literary Award, and Cool for You (2000). Myles has also written a short story collection, Chelsea Girls (1994). She won an art writing grant from the Warhol Foundation for her collection of essays, The Importance of Being Iceland (Semiotext(e), 2009) and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2012. Her most recent book is Snowflake/different streets (Wave Books, 2012), a double volume of poems.

Dennis Cooper describes Myles as "one of the savviest and most restless intellects in contemporary literature." In the Boston Review, Kathleen Rooney compares Myles’s "output" to Willie Nelson's in how "the poems enact a radical receptiveness to passing thoughts and experiences."

In addition to writing poetry, Myles was Artistic Director of St. Mark’s Church from 1984 to 1987 and co-edited the anthology The New Fuck You/adventures in lesbian reading (Semiotext(e), 1995). She also wrote the libretto for the opera, Hell, by Michael Webster, which was performed on both coasts and in Tijuana. In 1991, Myles launched a write-in campaign for president of the United States. She has written about art, culture, and writing for a variety of publications, including ArtForum, BookForum, The Believer, The Nation and Parkett.

Myles is a Professor Emeritus of writing and literature at UC San Diego, and currently teaches at New York University, Columbia University, and the Naropa Institue in Boulder, Colorado. She lives in New York City.

by this poet

poem

faint tinkling down the street
moved me from Swan
to Mass Ave
the skinny men running
into Boston. Why

I don’t know. Let’s go
to town hall
giant horses
Paul Revere & William
Dawes and horses
hairy poop lands
splat on the brick. Get em to sign
your

poem
I've already had a lot of them
I'm looking at a tree
full of tiny balls
California trees are different
thin eucalyptus more blades than
leaves not hitting
my face
it's a country of tiny leaves

no leaves

simply balls
I desire a big book about
this not better
than them but
their friend.
Who doesn't love the text
poem
Of all the ways of forgetting
not turning the pilot on is not
                             the worst

The house is intact
you are floating
in time
buckets of it streaming through
                  the windows

youth turned it up I think
or on & fell asleep

Remembering to do.
You are too intact
the dappled