Eileen Myles

Meet Eileen Myles, the poet who once ran for president.

“When a poet dies, everyone gets up and reads their work. We’re like a big cover band.”

Serendipity marked Eileen Myles’ discovery of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project upon moving to New York City in 1974. Hosting readings by Allen Ginsberg and workshops taught by Alice Notley, the Poetry Project gave Myles a poetic education that complemented a long-held passion for literature, performance, music, and creative communities. The writing career that resulted resists fixed definitions and includes lauded poetry collections such as Not Me, the autobiographical novel Chelsea Girls and the genre-defying Afterglow: A Dog Memoir, which opens with an accusatory letter from a lawyer representing Myles’ late pit bull, Rosie. “Maybe as an ex-Catholic, I kind of fear becoming something too much,” they joke.

“They” is Myles’ preferred pronoun because of the multiplicity it r...

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