Dubbed by Holland Cotter as “a cult figure to a generation of post-punk female writers,” Eileen Myles is a writer in many definitions of the word. A poet, memoirist, playwright, and a journalist, her bibliography is astounding in both length and variety. Born in 1949 in Boston, Myles received her education at the University of Massachusetts, Boston before moving to New York in the 1970s. There, she was a part of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s and worked for poet James Schuyler. Her first book, Not Me, was published in 1991.
Since then, she’s published multiple volumes of poetry and books, including Chelsea Girls (1994), School of Fish (1996), Sorry, Tree (2007), and Inferno: a poet’s novel (2010). She has won the Lambda Book Award, the Shelley Award from the Poetry Society of America, as well as grants from multiple organizations such as The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation. Today Myles divides her time between New York City, where she lives, California, where she is a professor at UC San Diego, and Colorado, where she teaches at the Naropa Institute in the summer.
Born in San Francisco in 1973, Maggie Nelson is the author of four books of nonfiction and four books of poetry. Her most recent book, The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (2011), was featured on the front cover of the Sunday Book Review of the New York Times, as well as named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and an Editors’ Choice. Her other nonfiction books include the cult hit Bluets (2009), published by Wave Books; a critical study of poetry and painting titled Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (2007); and an autobiographical book about sexual violence and media spectacle titled The Red Parts: A Memoir (2007). Her volumes of poetry include Something Bright, Then Holes (2007); Jane: A Murder (2005), The Latest Winter (2003), and Shiner (2001).
Before joining the faculty of CalArts in 2005, Nelson lived in New York City, where she taught literature and writing at Wesleyan University, Pratt Institute of Art, and the New School Graduate Writing Program. Recent awards include a 2007 Arts Writers Grant from the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation, a 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship in Nonfiction, and a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry.