I am thrilled to continue my Spellbook Saturday series for the month of June in celebration of Pride! As a bisexual white woman I am in the very privileged position of being open, comparatively safe, and celebrated in my identity, an experience not afforded to all in the queer community. This is not to say that I have not experienced anti-queer sentiments and “othering,” both personally and as an individual living in a deeply patriarchal and heternormative society. As such, throughout the years I have found incredible solace and inspiration in the work of LGBTQIA2S+ writers, a few of whom I am happy to share with you over the coming month.
Continuing the series, today’s feature is not focused on a specific book, but a beloved writer: Eileen Myles. To condense Myles’s work and impact into a quick blog post feels almost futile. From their website: “Eileen Myles (they/them) came to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet. Their 22 books include For Now (an essay/talk about writing), I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. They showed their photographs in 2019 at Bridget Donahue, NYC. Eileen has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and an award from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. They live in New York and Marfa, TX.”
I remember vividly the first time that I discovered Myles’s poetry, that live-wire feeling of surprise and awe— while I have long been a fan of poetry, and found certain the work of certain poets deeply moving, rarely had I felt so seen. It was truly an awakening, and while their body of work is astounding, and I Must Be Living Twice shows a depth and maturity garnered only through time, I will forever cherish Maxfield Parish for being that first introduction to their work.
Do you have a favorite LGBTQIA+ poet? What has your experience been like with queer representation in the world of poetry? Share your thoughts in the comments!
DID YOU ENJOY THIS FEATURE? CHECK OUT OTHER TITLES IN THE #SPELLBOOKSATURDAY SERIES!