Meet Poet Eileen Myles

On Oct. 19, College of Central Florida students had the opportunity to attend a reading by poet Eileen Myles. Myles began the reading with some of their newest work. These poems were inspired by a range of subjects, including being 6 years old, breakups and comparing real estate agents to vampires. The real advantage of the reading was not only hearing the poems read aloud with the author’s intended cadence and rhythm but also getting to hear the background and inspiration for each poem.

Myles then continued by reading a few select poems from their new book, “I Must Be Living Twice.” Among these were poems such as “The Honey Bear,” which Myles wrote in their 30s, and “An American Poem,” which recounts Myles’s story of moving to New York City. The reading ended with a Q&A where Myles elaborated on their creative process and gave some tips for aspiring writers and poets. This was truly a unique opportunity offered to CF students. The first thirty-four attendees were even given a free copy of “I Must Be Living Twice.”

Eileen Myles visited the College of Central Florida thanks to a new initiative started by CF professors Jennifer Mazur and Mae Sands. This new initiative is called the College of Central Florida Visiting Authors Series.

Professor Mazur and Professor Sands said that the goal of this series is “bringing authors to the college with diverse backgrounds [to] expand students’ experience with literature and expose students to diverse perspectives and ideas.”

Professors Mazur also shared the process for choosing authors for the series. All of the professors involved look for authors in the local region, research the work and background of the authors and then create a list. The professors then all meet and determine the top three authors based on their works, ideas, and innovation. They then reach out to the authors to see who is available to participate in a reading at CF. These authors are not given any theme or parameters to their readings; they choose what to read and share with the attendees.

Attending the poetry reading was a fantastic way to be exposed to a new type of literature. It was an opportunity to get to hear the background of the writer and each poem. This is just one of many events that CF offers to widen students’ knowledge and perspective. Everyone should make sure to keep an eye out for the next one.