Picture of author.

Eileen Myles

Author of Chelsea Girls

28+ Works 1,789 Members 34 Reviews 9 Favorited

About the Author

Eileen Myles is an American poet and writer born on December 9, 1949 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Boston (1971). She moved to New York City in 1974 where she participated in workshops and worked with and for several famous poets. Her career show more includes working as Artistic Director of St. Mark's Poetry Project, serving as Professor of Writing at the University of California, San Diego, and Visiting Writer at seven colleges. Myles's first book, The Irony of the Leash, was published in 1978. Some of her other work include A Fresh Young Voice From the Plains, Not Me, Inferno, Maxfield Parrish/early and new poems, School of Fish, Skies, On My Way, Snowflake / Different Streets, and The Importance of Being Iceland. She has also written articles, essays, plays and other works of fiction and nonfiction. She founded the Lost Texans Collective with Elinor Nauen and Barbara McKay and performed in group and solo performances. She has received numerous awards for her work. Her latest awards include The Clark Prize for Excellence in Arts Writing (2015) and The Lambda Pioneer Award (2016). (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the name: Eileen Myles

Disambiguation Notice:

Note that Myles uses "they/them" (identifying as plural femme). http://eileenmyles.com/bio2.php

Image credit: Credit: David Shankbone, Sept. 14, 2008, Brooklyn Book Festival

Works by Eileen Myles

Chelsea Girls (1994) 333 copies
Inferno: A Poet's Novel (2007) 306 copies
Cool For You (2001) 217 copies
The New Fuck You (1995) — Editor — 114 copies
Afterglow (a dog memoir) (2017) 104 copies
Not Me (1683) 75 copies
Sorry, Tree (2007) 68 copies
Evolution (2018) 56 copies
School of Fish (1997) 44 copies
Skies (2001) 37 copies
For Now (2020) 29 copies
Pathetic Literature (2022) — Editor — 21 copies
a "Working Life" (2023) 18 copies
Catholic No.1: Cats (2005) 14 copies
1969 (1989) 9 copies
Bread and water : stories (1987) 8 copies
On My Way (2001) 8 copies
Sappho's Boat : Poems (1982) 7 copies
Inauguration (2011) 2 copies
Eileen Myles 1 copy

Associated Works

The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (1999) — Contributor — 590 copies
The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes to their Younger Selves (2012) — Contributor — 260 copies
The Best American Poetry 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 200 copies
Queer 13: Lesbian and Gay Writers Recall Seventh Grade (1998) — Contributor — 183 copies
The Best American Poetry 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 182 copies
Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction (2008) — Contributor — 123 copies
The Best American Poetry 2010 (2010) — Contributor — 122 copies
Poems from the Women's Movement (2009) — Contributor — 106 copies
Working Sex: Sex Workers Write About a Changing Industry (2007) — Contributor — 88 copies
My Lover Is a Woman (1996) — Contributor — 88 copies
The World in Us: Lesbian and Gay Poetry of the Next Wave (2000) — Contributor — 81 copies
The Best American Poetry 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 75 copies
Best Lesbian Erotica 2006 (2005) — Introduction — 49 copies
Noise: Fiction Inspired by Sonic Youth (2008) — Contributor — 37 copies
Fetish: An Anthology (1998) — Contributor — 25 copies
Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology (2022) — Contributor — 13 copies
Stripped Down: Lesbian Sex Stories (2012) — Foreword — 11 copies
The Vagabonds #2 (2006) — Contributor — 5 copies
CUZ #1 — Author — 2 copies
Accurate Key (2003) 1 copy
Telephone 14 — Contributor — 1 copy


20th century (17) 21st century (18) American (29) American literature (34) American poetry (48) anthology (290) art (19) autobiography (19) biography (17) bisexual (16) collection (21) coming out (48) essays (70) feminism (36) fiction (160) gay (53) glbt (20) gone (41) lesbian (150) lesbians (22) lgbt (57) LGBTQ (53) literature (39) memoir (81) non-fiction (144) novel (21) own (15) poetry (729) poetry anthology (16) queer (102) read (20) sexuality (25) short stories (62) signed (21) to-read (360) unread (28) USA (19) wishlist (18) women (27) writing (21)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Myles, Eileen
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Places of residence
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
San Diego, California, USA
University of Massachusetts, Boston
Disambiguation notice
Note that Myles uses "they/them" (identifying as plural femme). http://eileenmyles.com/bio2.php



Experimental without being difficult to read--Myles plays with the form of the memoir, switching up details and messing around with language in this work that is situated between fiction and autobiography. The end result is more fun than not, especially considering some of the grim content in this story.
monicaberger | 5 other reviews | Jan 22, 2024 |
“you become
in your
life her
device” — Eileen Myles

Fully half of all poetry has been ruined by fucking. But the fact that "the vagina of my life is so stretched out" has nothing to do with this. (Given the eschatological possibility that Jesus/Anubis will be measuring our life against the weight of a feather, perhaps the pulled tissue is already in its most Redeemed form . . . ) That one has not yet gotten enough of it, or has just had too much, or is putting it into the poems, or is doing something stimulating instead of writing verse is what I'm thinking of. (Though considering the vast productions halted by these pre-occupations, one thinks most of these projects would not have been much good anyway.)

Myles, late in life, is still doing the "too burnt, too gay" for "musty brown pleasure" thing, remaining exceedingly good at it. Writing a kind of spoken verse punctuated with line breaks, impossible to memorize (this appears not to be the objective), frequent remarkable one-liners, and often humorous (greatest strength) in this forgettable collection. A detached style, concerned with ways-of-being punctuated with occasional funny observation-in-moment, is not compatible with explicit politics (ideology). We are less amused by Myles's advocacy with the neighborhood association against the construction of a high-rise over a beloved park than by anything else in the collection — seems forced as nothing else does.

Fully half of all poetry has been ruined by dog ownership. Out of 1000 poems being written around the world every minute, probably 999 are related to dogs. (So, by the numbers, maybe not all of them are bad). The fact that we are reminded, "honey’s safe and butter’s safe," doesn't mean these poems have all been ruined yet.

And she is doing a trick or two as well (another way in which Myles is not like an old dog). Soliciting the terms and parts of speech, such that at the end of a phrase we realize a tricky noun has been a verb all along

"I’ll never use you
in a poem
I’ll use everything
& it will cover
you & the
egg crinkles
& the toaster
it was trying"

Superior Selections:
SECRET LANGUAGE (daughter poem and phone poem)
"in here you’re like a clown that
squeezing the long internal history of women

[. . .]
"she would sit there on the phone being Polish for hours"
[. . .]
"being mum
you have me now mother have a big manhattan mom but she wanted a son

MICE (funny dog poem)
"they see a cluster of small rubber ducks & scraps of broken shells & think I’ll shit there "
[. . .]
"they’re unclean anyone would say isn’t it why I must kill them
but I’m unclean too isn’t that why they’re here

PUT MY HOUSE (love poem and dog poem)

Selected Phrases:
"Perhaps this is the start in the latest of my new breed of very bad poems."
"made that melon bright"
"black barns hold my contentment"
"and I was making a mountain of sleep"
“you were looking very good on instagram yesterday”
"there’s a lot of suffering here in this room."
“i’m thinking how funny the yeats line on his tombstone”
“there’s no way to see everything in a pink painting”
“low grounded thing they think”
“the nothing spot where a tree’s so long ago been”

“cat jumps
into a dumpster

“but that isn’t how you feel. waiting world violent friend."
… (more)
Joe.Olipo | 2 other reviews | Jan 1, 2024 |
dropped at p. 150. i never drop books but i hated the writing style so much, i just couldnt take it anymore.
1 vote
femmedyke | 10 other reviews | Sep 27, 2023 |
On The Death of Robert Lowell
Oh, I don't give a shit.
He was an old white haired man
Insensate beyond belief and
Filled with much anxiety about his imagined
Pain. Not that I'd know
I hate fucking wasps.
The guy was a loon.
Signed up for Spring Semester at MacLean's
A really lush retreat among the pines and
Hippy attendants. Ray Charles also
Once rested there.
So did James Taylor . . .
the famous, as we know, are nuts.
Take Robert Lowell.
The old white haired coot
Fucking Dead. —Eileen Myles

What ever happened to all those middle-of-the-class kids from high school. You only spoke to them once or twice. Born to be losers, you thought, if that element of young-adult fiction was to be believed. Or obliterated. You forgot their names. Now and again when you look them up on LinkedIn you are always surprised to find them alive . . . and employed. And when you chance to encounter them again, in the strange context you imagine, in which they find themselves born instead in the 1940's, it's possible that they would continue to inhabit, even now, that time nearly fifty years ago which was their heyday, and to continue to talk, repetitiously, about the famous people they had known and the women they had fucked, such that you would perceive, for a dull moment, that they had not yet managed to write themselves out from under the weight of their previous novel.
… (more)
Joe.Olipo | 2 other reviews | Sep 19, 2023 |



You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Liz Kotz Editor
Joan Larkin Contributor
Michelle Tea Contributor
Dennis Cooper Contributor
Steve Carey Contributor
Miaojin Qiu Contributor
Brandon Shimoda Contributor
CA Conrad Contributor
Franz Kafka Contributor
Hyesoon Kim Contributor
Akilah Oliver Contributor
Jocelyn Saidenberg Contributor
Jerome Sala Contributor
Marcella Durand Contributor
Dana Ward Contributor
Simone White Contributor
Natalie Diaz Contributor
Sophie Robinson Contributor
Mark So Contributor
Sallie Fullerton Contributor
Laura Henriksen Contributor
Baha' Ebdeir Contributor
Ama Birch Contributor
Nicole Wallace Contributor
Maan Abu Taleb Contributor
Dara Barrois/Dixon Contributor
Essa May Ranapiri Contributor
Precious Okoyomon Contributor
Andrea Abi-Karam Contributor
Laurie Weeks Contributor
Joe Proulx Contributor
The Friend Contributor
Layli Long Soldier Contributor
Tongo Eisen-Martin Contributor
Nate Lippens Contributor
Mira Gonzalez Contributor
Jack Halberstam Contributor
Joe Westmoreland Contributor
Morgan Võ Contributor
Susie Timmons Contributor
Justin Torres Contributor
Moyra Davey Contributor
Robert Glück Contributor
Sei Shonagon Contributor
Gwendolyn Brooks Contributor
Violette Leduc Contributor
Fanny Howe Contributor
Matthew Stadler Contributor
Alice Notley Contributor
Charles Bernstein Contributor
Valerie Solanas Contributor
Lynne Tillman Contributor
James Schuyler Contributor
Rebecca Brown Contributor
Georg Büchner Contributor
Lucille Clifton Contributor
J. R. Ackerley Contributor
Chris Kraus Contributor
Robert Walser Contributor
James Welch Contributor
Chester Himes Contributor
Andrea Dworkin Contributor
Simone Weil Contributor
Djuna Barnes Contributor
Kathy Acker Contributor
Laurence Sterne Contributor
Samuel R. Delany Contributor
Victor Hugo Contributor
Samuel Beckett Contributor
Michael McClure Contributor
John Wieners Contributor
Ariana Reines Contributor
Chantal Akerman Contributor
Camille Roy Contributor
Sparrow Contributor
Rumi Contributor
Can Xue Contributor
Saidiya Hartman Contributor
Jorge Luis Borges Contributor
Sergio Chejfec Contributor
Victoria Chang Contributor
Bob Flanagan Contributor
Bruce Benderson Contributor
Tim Johnson Contributor
Carmen Boullosa Contributor
Fred Moten Contributor
Maggie Nelson Contributor
Tom Cole Contributor
Keith Waldrop Contributor
Gail Scott Contributor
Renee Gladman Contributor
Kevin Killian Contributor
Dodie Bellamy Contributor
Etel Adnan Contributor
Rae Armantrout Contributor
Will Farris Contributor


Also by

Charts & Graphs