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. She 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 she studied and was friends with Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, Paul Violi and Bill Zavatsky. In 1979 she was assistant to poet James Schuyler. She 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. She is 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. She wrote the libretti for Hell, an opera with music composed by Michael Webster which was performed on both coasts, 2004-2006. She has received a Guggenheim fellowship, a Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’ grant, and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She contributes to a wide number of publications including ArtForum, Bookforum, Parkett, and The Believer. She’s a Prof. Emeritus at UC San Diego where she taught for five years. She lives in New York.
Reviews 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. —Publishers Weekly
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