Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘Inferno’

“Eileen Myles Watches Over an Ever-Changing New York” — INFERNO author profiled in The New York Times

Monday, May 23rd, 2022

“These days, Myles enjoys the status of esteemed downtown New York cultural figure… They are now often stopped on the street by young and deferential writers who wish to express appreciation for the work Myles produced in a grittier city that lives on only in myth… Myles toiled on the margins for decades before experiencing a mainstream revival upon the 2015 reissue of their 1994 autobiographical novel, ‘Chelsea Girls.’ It won new admirers, suddenly appearing tucked inside tote bags at bookish Brooklyn coffee shops, and a character based on the author appeared on the show ‘Transparent.’”

Read the full article here.

“So real that it was like looking at the sun” — Eileen Myles’ INFERNO featured in Vulture

Monday, April 4th, 2022

“It’s hopeful when the writer is a poet because they don’t feel the allegiance to the rules the way prose writers do. Their use of commas, of punctuation, yields completely to the truth of the thing being described rather than some outside prescription. Myles’s metaphors here are wild. ‘A tropical movie’? What is that? Myles is inventing this thing to compare sex to, and it is absolutely working, but it is breaking a lot of the rules. And I think when we break boundaries, it doesn’t matter if we’re using familiar language. It’s going to feel defamiliarized and fresh to us.”

Read the full article here.

Inferno would be an excellent book to hand to one’s parent, after years of their sneering at your unabashed involvement with poetry. ” — INFERNO reviewed by Cedar Sigo for Lit Hub

Friday, July 23rd, 2021

“We have a hero on our hands who has survived the depths of someone else’s famous epic and is writing their best sentences yet.”

Read the full review here.

“27 Books Every Woman In America Should Read” INFERNO in Buzzfeed

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

‘This semi-autobiographical poetic novel, published in September, tells the story of a young lesbian writer named Eileen Myles coming of age in New York, as well as the challenges of being a working writer. Myles shows that good art is always political — and how making good art has only become harder in America. As Myles writes: “The cultural wars in the United States started with poetry. I just think people should know.”’

Get the full story here.

An excerpt from GAY PROPAGANDA to celebrate National Coming Out Day

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016

“I’ll never forget it. I was 6. My mother and I went to the movies to see The Amphibian Man. In the middle of the movie, my mother bends down to me and whispers: ‘Look how beautiful Guttiere [the female protagonist] is!’ I nodded weakly, while not taking my eyes off Ichtiandr [the male protagonist]. I fell in love with him and asked to be taken to this movie a number of times. This goes to the question of why the very idea of ‘gay propaganda’ is absurd. As a biologist, I know that sexual orientation is formed in the womb and is impossible to influence in any direction. It’s not a matter of choice. When I was a child, I didn’t know any of this, of course, and didn’t understand why I was attracted to the beautiful Ichtiandr.”

—Vitaly, from Gay Propaganda: Russian Love Stories, edited by Masha Gessen and Joseph Huff-Hannon.

  Celebrates LGBTQ voices and National Coming Out Day

lean out cover

“Eileen Myles on Guns, Gays and Pride” EILEEN MYLES for Literary Hub

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

“More than anything the message we all need to carry away from what happened this month in Orlando is that LGBT people of color were the target. Specifically Latino gays and trans people. Omar Mateen deliberately emptied twenty shots of ammo into these human bodies in nine seconds on Latino night at Pulse, an LGBT nightspot. I’m stating the obvious here because so much of the political bluster animating congress, animating the presidential campaign seems determined to look away from that fact, to be arguing instead about which terrorist watch list we should be really paying attention to. The argument seems to be that if we could just keep the bad people out America we could be safe again. Yeah like when.”

To hear more, visit Literary Hub

The work of EILEEN MYLES “gives evidence of one of the richest and most conflicted human hearts you’re likely to find.” INFERNO reviewed in The New York Review of Books

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

Now Myles is older than Lowell when he died, and enjoying her greatest moment of accomplishment and fame. Her very presence in the world is a form of activism, but her work, when studied with care, is also political in the sense that it gives evidence of one of the richest and most conflicted human hearts you’re likely to find. When, many years from now, she passes away, may she be elegized rudely by some brat clearing the nettles from her path, just the way she did with Lowell (and, in a more complex gesture, with Schuyler). This kind of schoolyard insult—“The guy was a loon”—is almost hilariously transparent as an expression of desire, and it is part of what the art’s all about.

To read the rest of the review, visit The New York Review of Books.

“I like a little bit of oblivion.” Interview Magazine talks with EILEEN MYLES

Monday, December 21st, 2015

I think part of what you’re doing when you’re doing something new is that you don’t entirely know that you’re doing it. You almost don’t pay attention. You’re paying more attention to the rhythm than the thing that you’re saying, so there’s a lot of extra language hanging outside the building that you sort of allow to be there so that you’re not always looking at the building. It’s very constructed in a certain way, but I almost don’t want to know that so I can keep building what I’m making from the inside. It’s like when I’m in charge of a flow, and that thing has to keep coming at all costs, so part of my performance as a writer, in the act of writing, is to pretend that I don’t know. I like a little bit of oblivion. I’m safe in that. And it can keep accruing in this kind of way. The overarching thing is just reaching inside. It’s almost the invisible part of the form, like in any violent action movie when you see somebody get killed, and they keep heaving, and it’s like with writing—there’s a thing that keeps heaving. My whole consciousness likes to stay as close as possible to falling apart, but not letting it entirely end. That’s my pleasure.

To read the rest of the interview, visit Interview Magazine.

In the wake of winning the Clark Prize, EILEEN MYLES is in the news!

Friday, October 16th, 2015

In the Paris Review, Myles discusses her work with Ben Lerner. An excerpt of this interview is available on Lit Hub.

New York Magazine profiles Miles and celebrates the recent attention she’s received. The Guardian and New Yorker likewise applaud her much deserved surge in popularity.

Bookforum names INFERNO one of their 10 favorite books of all time

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

To read the full list, click here

EILEEN MYLES interviewed in Vol. 1 Brooklyn

Monday, January 12th, 2015

When talking about Inferno and the character Eileen Myles, you once said “Like everybody else, I really don’t know who I am.” Does writing help you get any closer to figuring out who you are? Do you think someday you’ll know?

No. Absolutely not. Hope not. Writing gives you an opportunity to make momentary portraits. But not of me. More of a situation that someone like me found herself in. If I said that in an interview it wasn’t a cry for help. I meant that finding out who I am isn’t the point. What could the answer be. I write cause I like writing. Please don’t put an apostrophe before cause. I take punctuation very seriously. Mostly I take it out.

To read the rest of the interview, visit Vol. 1 Brooklyn

INFERNO nominated for the Slate/ Whiting Foundation Second Novel Award

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Inferno—the second of the five books we judges are naming to the Slate/Whiting Second Novel List—is about a young woman, Eileen Myles. She’s plunged into the downtown scene of the ’70s, ferociously determined to write, desiring other women, stomping around town. The book feels like it was put down in gusts of inspiration, between drinking and sex and poetry readings. It can be read that way, too: between meals, on the toilet, or standing under an awning waiting for a break in the rain. Or you can sit with it for a while, in the wintry light of an apartment cased in steam heat, looking out the back window. But the streets are its true territory; its weather is the storm of language.

Read the full nomination on Slate

Dialogue Talk interview with INFERNO author EILEEN MYLES

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

I mean honestly, I just saw some real deterioration and ruination in my family, in my childhood. My dad was an alcoholic. He died at 44. All his brothers — none of his brothers made it to 50. And when I went to Ireland, it turned out the last Myles in the area, where we were from, was found dead in what they called the wee house, a little thatched — I mean it wasn’t thatched anymore, but one of those little Irish houses. His body was found several days after his death and he was an alcoholic in his 40s. And I thought, “Oh my God.” So, I just have a kind of annihilation in my blood by means of alcohol for sure, but I think the whole kit, mental illness and then poverty and all — you know, the whole cocktail.

Listen to the full interview at Dialogue Talk.

Eileen from INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL) is listed among Dazed‘s top ten female protagonists

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Violence and anal bleeding aren’t the only routes to feminist literary empowerment; Eileen Myles’ semi-autobiographical novel of artistic and sexual awakening, in which a young poet comes up and triumphs against racism, sexism and homophobia. In addition to mythic descriptions of New York as an accessible city for artists, it’s got some great sentences, and infuriating antifeminist experiences give way to comic optimism by the novel’s end.

Read the full list at Dazed.

The Advocate calls EILEEN MYLES one of “7 Queer Poets You Should Know”

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Eileen Myles is the author of more than 20 books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, plays, and libretti, including Snowflake/different streets, Inferno (A Poet’s Novel), The Importance of Being Iceland (for which she received a Warhol Creative Capital Art Writers Grant) and Sorry, Tree. A former director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project, Myles campaigned as an openly female write-in candidate for U.S. president in 1992. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2012. She lives in New York.

See the full list at the Advocate.

INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL) is among Flavorwire’s 50 books that define the last 5 years in literature

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Without a doubt one of the most important voices in contemporary poetry, and the type of true original we need more of in literature. This book — and everything else Myles has ever put into the world — should be considered a classic.

Read the full review at Flavorwire

BOMB talks with Eileen Myles about INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL)

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

There is that scene in the film Henry and June where Henry Miller reaches over to the radio blaring Hitler’s voice, and he snaps it off. He’s been having a beautiful moment with June, and they’re in love. Hitler’s not going away, and they can feel the presence of his very real, dark world-view closing in, but just the same they’re having their beautiful moment together inside the darkness. Eileen Myles is the living embodiment of this very kind of force that transmutes the aura of bondage into standing free, blatantly and beautifully free, from all the evil bastards of the world.

my need to say
that you can

That’s a quote from the brand new Myles poetry collection Snowflake/different streets from Wave Books. “[M]y need”—she says, and she’s not kidding—“to say / that you can.” Infectious, genius exuberance awaits! The poet Frank Sherlock recently showed me a list published in the International Business Times of the top five regrets people have on their deathbeds. Things like “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Eileen Myles is like a study in the emancipation of a life, for instance her reader’s life. Meaning YOU!

Read the full interview in BOMB

INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL) is named Poetry Book of the Year by

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Eileen Myles’ Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) is poetry book of the year 2011! Of course, it is a novel—but Myles’ prose is so dense and fun and immediate that it always seems to be saying, “A poet wrote this and I can’t wait to become a poem myself.”

Inferno—a novel with the title of a classic poem. I remind you of this because when you Google “Dante Inferno” the first listing is the digital game: “…battle through the 9 circles of Hell facing fierce and hideous monsters, your own sins, and a dark past of unforgiveable war crimes…” Which sounds like Myles’ Inferno: a coming of age/becoming a poet/coming out/going sober story.

Read the rave review on

INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL) is the new Emily Books pick of the month

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

My girlfriend got me an Eileen Myles t-shirt at this Sister Spit event in Oakland, it’s black with big purple letters reading “YOU’VE GOT THE STYLE EILEEN MYLES.” I wore it for the first time in Palm Springs to a Dinah Shore White Party which is a party where everyone wears white. And Dinah Shore is this gross annual lesbian “weekend” for girls who want to fingerfuck in swimming pools, oil wrestle in wet t-shirts, drink their faces off and scream at each other in public. All the lesbian websites send reps to Dinah Shore so we were there like a bunch of pasty nerds at a football game, and I was there in my black pants and black Eileen Myles t-shirt at The White Party and then suddenly everything turned black and then I wasn’t anywhere anymore. I was carried and I could hear things, like my friends saying I’d only had one drink and that my face was blue. Some minutes later in the hotel room as the EMTs were attaching things to me and announcing my alarming blood pressure I apparently garbled “it’s over,” to my friend Sarah. “It’s all over, Sarah. This is it.” Ha! She told me I’d said it a few times: “This is it, it’s all over. It’s all over. This is the end.”

Read the full piece on Emily Books Blog

According to For Books’ Sake “There is beauty and bravery aplenty in INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL)

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Eileen Myle’s Inferno is an intriguing book. Despite being subtitled A Poet’s Novel, it’s actually an autobiographical account in luminous prose-poetry, dedicated to Michelle Tea and beloved by queer icons including Alison Bechdel and John Waters.

Now, I must confess that this is the first book by Eileen that I’ve read. But I knew her name, and not only because she’s name-checked in Le Tigre’s Hot Topic (alongside the likes of Joan Jett, Gertrude Stein and Aretha Franklin).

Read the full article on For Books’ Sake

Eileen Myles accepts Lammy from Emma Donoghue for INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL)

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Two rock star novelists share the stage (if only briefly). Eileen Myles accepts her Lammy from Emma Donoghue at the 23rd annual Lambda Literary Awards in New York City, on May 26, 2011.

See the video at Lambda Literary.

Congratulations to author Eileen Myles for winning a Lambda Literary Award for INFERNO: A POET’S NOVEL!

Friday, May 27th, 2011

The twenty-third annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced last night in New York City. Coinciding with this year’s Book Expo America, the awards event brought out over four hundred attendees in celebration of LGBT literature.

Adam Haslett was honored for his novel, Union Atlantic (Nan A. Talese), the follow-up to his story collection, You Are Not a Stranger Here (Doubleday, 2002), a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Eileen Myles, author of more than a dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, won the award in lesbian fiction for Inferno (A Poet’s Novel) (OR Books).


Eileen Myles is a finalist for not one but two important literary awards for LGBT fiction

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Eileen Myles is a finalist for the 2011 Ferro-Grumley Awards for LGBT Fiction and for the 23rd Annual Lambda Literary Awards.

Bookforum talks with Eileen Myles about INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL)

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

Inferno is the latest book by poet, novelist, essayist, performer, and one-time presidential hopeful Eileen Myles. (It’s true, she ran as a write-in candidate in 1992.) Eileen did not call Inferno a memoir, even though it sort of is. Maybe one could call it a remembrance. Eileen calls it a novel. In the process of remembering, she lets go a frantic and enlightened rush of recall, impressions, and wit. Loosely modeled on Dante, the novel traces the character Eileen’s dual coming out as both a poet and a lesbian (via hell, purgatory, and paradise). It starts in Boston (hell?) and quickly moves to New York, where she has mainly lived since the ’70s. She moves in and out of the punkier side of the NYC poetry world in a warm, complicated way. That’s mainly because Eileen is, let’s say, a pillar of that world. She’s published numerous books of poetry, including Not Me and Skies, the short-story collection Chelsea Girls, and an earlier novel, Cool for You (she also wrote the libretto for an opera). She’s a former steward of The Poetry Project at Saint Mark’s Church and was a caretaker of genius poet James Schuyler in his later years at the Chelsea Hotel. Inferno includes encounters, for better and for worse, with Amiri Baraka, Marge Piercy, Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, and Patti Smith. Like many of Frank O’Hara’s poems, the seeming bits of real life in this novel take gossip and elevate it to the level of art.


A rave review for Eileen Myles‘ novel INFERNO in the current Bookforum

Friday, September 17th, 2010

“It’s a novel in the way Elizabeth Hardwick’s Sleepless Nights and Renata Adler’s Speedboat are–that is to say, on its own terms. With Inferno, Myles has written…a meditation on hatching a writing life. …The book, in other words, is packed. Throughout, Myles moves smoothly between her numerous themes: discovery, emergence, memory, and, most important, the lurching ambition to have a life of the mind and the body.”


Eileen Myles reads an excerpt from INFERNO (A POET’S NOVEL), featured in Rattapallax, co-presented by the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Eileen Myles reads an excerpt from INFERNO (a poet’s novel) from Rattapallax on Vimeo.

Also featured on the Poetry Project Blog.

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