Is Eileen Myles done with New York? Nope…


From Rolling Stone:

Eileen Myles sits at a small café in the East Village, near the apartment they have called home for 40 years. Myles, who now prefers to use gender-neutral pronouns, explains that they know people who have been in the apartment building even longer. “There were people who came in in the Sixties, kids who moved to the city when they were 18 and are still living here now.”

When asked about the neighborhood’s creeping gentrification, Myles seems unwilling to pick up the line of conversation. “People talk about the city not being the place it was, and I think that’s not true. That’s a very service-y take on New York,” Myles says. “Everything changing is the nature of its sameness. Sure, the corporate thing is quicker and bigger, but that’s more global now; that’s everywhere. It’s not about New York.” It’s the first important Myles lesson during our chat: The world is changing, and New York is part of the world, but these changes can’t be pinned to this city. “I think if you decide, ‘this change I cannot take,’ that’s just the shape of your exit or your bitterness,” they continue.

Myles’ particular success – two books out in a single calendar year, one a reissue of first novel, Cool for You, this past spring from Soft Skull Press, and another, Afterglowa fantastical memoir about Myles’ pitbull, Rosie, coming out from Grove in September – in some ways owes a debt to New York itself. Myles is first and foremost a New York poet, having come up in the 1970s and Eighties Downtown poetry scenes, and having gotten an early start as a poet and artist from the great New York poetry legend himself, Allen Ginsberg. Myles has published over 20 books of poetry, prose and fiction, as well as journalism, art criticism, manifestos and performance pieces, but although Myles has been writing and publishing since the 1970s, they are enjoying a current surge in popularity in which their early work is being exhumed and republished.

“Punk Poet Eileen Myles on Combating Trump, Capitalism With Art”, Helena Fitzgerald, Rolling Stone