‘The Past Is More Now Than Usual’: Eileen Myles on Having Two Books Released with Mercury in Retrograde

I think there’s a very interesting poetry moment going on culturally now. Part of what I’m experiencing with this nice reception of this book is the way being a female poet is a certain version of coming of age — poetry is very diaristic, small pieces, an art form you can realize — you wrote poems when you were young — a quick, young, cheap available art form.

I’m getting a sense, because I’m meeting so many young people on this tour and a lot of them are writing poetry and a lot of them are female, and so there’s a way I feel there’s a revolution going on, like the road saga of the ’50s and ’60s for boys might be writing poetry for females right now. And I just love how poetry seems to be totally … the notebook is open — girls, and girlboys, young people and older people and all kinds of people are writing in it. Something special, mortal, cheap and fun, a new way of being smart and fast — it coincides with texting, and social media — it’s a leaky, glittering sort of form.

-At the Los Angeles Times, poet Eileen Myles speaks with novelist Alexander Chee about poetry in the digital age, writing her dog’s memoir, and her “retrospective moment” with the release of two books at once: I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975 – 2014and a new edition of Chelsea Girls, her autobiographical coming of age novel, originally released in 1994.

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