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Awardee: Eileen Myles

Literature, 2016

Eileen Myles came to New York in 1974 from Boston to be a poet. She went to Catholic schools in Arlington, MA and graduated in 1971 from UMass Boston. She is the author of 19 books, most recently Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) and Snowflake/different streets as well as I Must Be Living Twice: New & Selected Poems (Ecco/Harper Collins, 2015), plus a reissue of Chelsea Girls, a queer classic. Her poetic education took place at St. Mark’s Poetry Project where she studied in workshops and was the Artistic Director from 1984–86. She writes art and book reviews for Rookie, The Nation, Art in America and Bookforum. Her essays appeared in 2015 in both the Whitney Biennial and the Liverpool Biennial. In 1992 she conducted a write-in campaign for President of the United States. She has received grants from the Warhol | Creative Capital Arts Writers Program, the Guggenheim Foundation and The Foundation for Contemporary Art. Myles is the recipient of the Clark Award for excellence in art writing.

http://eileenmyles.com

Project: My Travels

My Travels tells the author’s life story through is a series of linked essays on specific travels—geographically, chronologically, morally and politically—though the focus and experience of each is radically different. In the research phase of the book, Myles will live for several months in her native Boston, which she left in 1974, to see what’s left of her accent and who is currently writing poetry in the city. An essay about New York concerns living on the streets for short periods of times with a Buddhist group. Other essays focus on: living in Ireland in 2007; travelling to India in 1990, after which she became a write-in candidate for president; and Myles’ journeys to Russia and Eastern Europe in 1995, which coincided with her experience of menopause.