Tag Archives: Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles: There’s No Escaping History

Eileen Myles attends the annual Edinburgh International Book Festival at Charlotte Square Gardens on August 23, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Roberto Ricciuti/Getty Images)

At Rolling Stone, Helena Fitzgerald profiles punk poet and 1992 write-in Presidential candidate Eileen Myles. Myles’s new memoir, Afterglow, was released this week, and their first autobiographical novel, Cool for You, was recently re-released and included an introduction by I Love Dick author Chris Kraus.

Myles (who prefers gender-neutral pronouns) has been publishing since the 70s, but has lately experienced a new wave of popularity, gathering new young fans in part because of their Twitter presence and also the character inspired by them on Transparent.

Among other things, Myles talks with Fitzgerald about the importance right now of poetry and art as forms of resistance under the current U.S. presidential administration. Interestingly, though, Myles points out that what’s been happening really isn’t all that new.

In this current moment, the feeling that we’re facing an avalanche, that we might be destroyed, is hard to ignore. When prompted to speak about art in the current political moment, Myles says: “You know, there is nothing new about what’s happening now.” Myles goes on to call Trump’s assembled henchmen “a cabinet of cockblockers: an educational secretary who’s against education, an attorney general who’s a Klansman.” But they also stress that there’s precedent throughout our history for all of these, that none of these people came out of nowhere. As much of Myles’ work — such as the seminal “An American Poem” — has grappled with in the past, this is the America in which we have always lived. The James Comey testimony took place a few days before our meeting, and Myles was passionately skeptical of the liberal praise that has been showered on the former director of the FBI. “They’re like, ‘Oh, Comey’s the good guy!’ Are you kidding me? He’s talking about a Shining City on the Hill; he’s talking about the horror, and the outrage, of people interfering with our election — like that isn’t what we do in the Middle East and in South America. I’ve never been so driven to make the argument about the nature of our history.”

Read the story

‘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.

Read the story