‘Punk Poet’ Eileen Myles launches ‘Picturing Women: Constructions of Gender in the Acton Collection and Contemporary Society’ next week with her poetry talk ‘Born to Describe’

Eileen Myles photo (1)
Photo by: Peggy O’Brian

“Social media is very fragmentary, so I think that we write a line of poetry or a tweet very similarly. Those of us who love poetry can find social media to be really easy and really attractive and an interesting way to lean into a poem over time. You can kind of leak a line, and then another, and then they can all come together or just give you the pleasure of writing lines publicly. It’s exposing a lot of people – both poets and those who aren’t – to a kind of ‘knowing fragmentation’ and that’s pretty cool.”

-Eileen Myles, Profile: Eileen Myles, Wonderland., August 4, 2016 link

Eileen Myles, “the rock star of modern poetry”, according to The Guardian, will be with us on February 1 at 6:00 pm for the first event of our Picturing Women: Constructions of Gender in the Acton Collection and Contemporary Society series @villalapietra #picturingwomenactoncollection. Her Poetry Talk ‘Born To Describe’ will explore “the tattoo of poetry in her life and yours” and how the world and the media are a living and breathing “studio for the poet’s mind”. She will “consider some of the reasons for assembling and ways of engaging the many portraits of women at Villa La Pietra alongside the fact of millions of women marching all over the world today” and ask questions including “What do we (men and women) mean, what does art mean and how does a poet think about gender and politics and language being in the world right now?

Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist and performer whose books include Chelsea Girls, I Must Be Living Twice, selected poems and The Importance of being Iceland/travel essays in art. Afterglow (a dog memoir) will be out next fall. In 1992 Myles conducted an openly female write in campaign for president of the United States. They have received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, the Foundation for Contemporary Art and in 2016 was awarded the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Myles is also a television poet. Their poems have appeared in seasons 2 and 3 of the Emmy-winning TV show Transparent. They live in New York and Marfa, Texas

Eileen Myles’ talk will be followed by a Poetry Workshop and Reading ‘How We Write’ on February 2 with poet and NYU Florence lecturer Elisa Biagini. Interested NYU Florence students can rsvp for the talk, workshop and reading by writing to lapietra.dialogues@nyu.edu

“For decades, it seemed as though Eileen Myles and her unflinching depictions of New York misfits and creatives would forever be relegated to the margins of the American canon. And then last year happened…”

Emily Witt, “The Poet Idolized by a New Generation of Feminists”, The New York Times Style Magazine, April 15, 2016 link

-Find out how Eileen spends her Sundays at The New York Times link 

-Read Andrea Scott’s profile ‘Shining a Light on Eileen Myles’ in The New Yorker from October 2015 link

-Eileen talks about poetry’s relevance in the Digital Age link

Learn more about the ‘Picturing Women: Constructions of Gender in the Acton Collection and Contemporary Society’ series here.

Find out more about Villa la Pietra here

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