Athens, Ga. – Poet and fiction writer Eileen Myles will read from her work on Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in Athica Gallery, 160 Tracy St. in Athens. The following day, Feb. 22, she will meet with University of Georgia students and faculty for a coffee hour/question and answer session at 10:30 a.m. in room 261 of Park Hall. Both events, sponsored by the UGA creative writing program, the President’s Venture Fund, the Willson Center, Verse publication and the English Department, are free and open to the public.
Winner of the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America in 2010, Myles has published poetry since the 1970s. Bust Magazine calls Myles “the rock star of modern poetry” and Holland Cotter in The New York Times describes her as “a cult figure to a generation of post-punk females forming their own literary avant garde.”
Myles was born in Boston in 1949, attended Catholic schools in Arlington, Massachusetts, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 1971. She gave her first reading in New York in 1974 at CBGB, considered the home of original hardcore and punk rock, and studied with poets Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan and others at the St. Mark’s Poetry Project, where she worked as artistic director from 1984-86.
Myles has published poetry, fiction, essays, feminist anthologies, plays, performance pieces and libretti, including Sorry, Tree (2007), Skies (2001), on my way (2001), School of Fish (1997), Maxfield Parrish: Early & New Poems (1995), Not Me (1991), Chelsea Girls (stories, 1994), Cool for You (a novel, 2000), and Hell, an opera with composer Michael Webster (2004). Myles’ reviews and essays on art and poetry have appeared in magazines, including Artforum, Art in America and The Believer, and in 2009, were collected in On the Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art. In October 2010, she published a poet’s novel, Inferno, which, in her words, “chronicles the adventures of a female writer in hell very much like Eileen Myles.”Poet John Ashbery writes the novel is “zingingly funny and melancholy, Inferno follows a young girl from Boston in her descent into the maelstrom of New York Bohemia, circa 1968. Myles beautifully chronicles a lost Eden: ‘The place I found was carved out from sadness and sex, and to write a poem there you merely needed to gather.'”
Myles is professor emeritus at the University of California San Diego, where she directed the writing program from 2002-2007.She has since served as the Hugo Writer at the University of Montana and as the Fannie Hurst Professor of Creative Literature at Washington University. She lives in New York.
For further information about the UGA creative writing program, see http://www.english.uga.edu/newsite/cwp/home.html.