Eileen Myles operates in the art, writing, and queer performance scenes as a kind of observant flaneur. She is a poet, novelist, and performer who has written extensively on art and writing and the cultural scene. She came to New York from Boston in 1974 and soon began reading her poems publicly, taking workshops at St. Mark’s Poetry Project in New York’s East Village and publishing in little magazines, zines and larger journals such as Partisan Review and Paris Review.
Her books of poems include Not Me, School of Fish and Sorry, Tree. With Liz Kotz, she co-edited the The New Fuck You: Adventures in Lesbian Reading. Her first fiction was Chelsea Girls (1994), followed by Cool for You (a nonfiction novel) in 2000. She directed the writing program at the University of California at San Diego for five years, returning to New York in 2007. In San Diego she wrote the libretto for the opera Hell (composed by Michael Webster), performed in 2004-06. During that time she also wrote much of Inferno. Her articles and columns have appeared recently in Artforum, Bookforum, Parkett, Vice, AnOther Magazine and the Brooklyn Rail. Her essays were collected in The Importance of Being Iceland (2009) for which she received a Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’s grant. In 2010, the Poetry Society of American awarded Myles the Shelley Memorial Award. She lives in New York.