By Alana Dutson & Georgana Hess
Pensacola State College (PSC) welcomes award-winning poet and novelist, Eileen Myles Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Ashmore Auditorium.
The feminist icon prefers to use genderneutral personal pronouns such as they, them and their in place of she or he.
“Really Myles is an iconoclast in many ways. A social iconoclast, for sure.” said Jamey Jones, Poet Laureate of Northwest Florida and English and communications instructor at PSC.
Myles won many awards for their writing, including four Lambda Book Awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital art writers’ grant and the Shelley Prize.
“It’s really significant that they work in all different genres. Primarily a poet, but to quote Walt Whitman, poets are ‘vast.’ We are vast. Poets can and should do other kinds of writing,” Jones said.
Myles will be giving a memoir reading Thursday evening, Feb. 8. This will be followed on Friday, Feb 9 by a writer’s workshop at the Chadbourne Library, room 2051 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
At 7 p.m. Myles will meet with students of PSC and community members in the Anna Lamar Switzer Gallery for a book talk.
Myles is the embodiment of what it is to be a poet and lives that truth successfully.
“It’s not every day that this happens,” Jones said. “It’s just a terrific opportunity for students to experience a writer– one who does this as a full-time vocation. Someone who committed their life to it before they were famous.”
Myles has published 20 books during their career including “Afterglow (a dog memoir),” “Cool for You” and “Chelsea Girls.”
They studied at St. Mark’s Poetry Project from 1975 to 1977 and went on to become the artistic director of St. Mark’s from 1984 to 1986. In addition, Myles has taught at New York University and Naropa University.
Myles has been touring globally since the 1980’s, however, this is the first time they will be in Pensacola. All events are open to the public and free for students.