There’s so much going on today. Kafka’s America, for instance. Jonathan’s panel at the Pen conference in New York. And something else. So much else. Lately I’ve been bumping up a little against Susan Sontag’s diary. I was wondering how a blog is different from a diary. Susan didn’t get paid to write hers, and she had to die first before we could read it.

The pure whiteness up here. We are organizing a project back in New York called The Collection of Silence. To see what we’ve got if we don’t use sound. Poets I mean. So twenty five of us are not reading at The Hispanic Society on June 30 at 7PM. I have many reasons for doing this because silence means so many different things to everyone. So that's good for a public event. But definitely part of of my reason for doing this is that I had worked on an opera a few years ago – wrote the libretto, wanted to direct it but didn’t. I think I was afraid. But I do feel completely competent to direct a project of silence. I am kind of dedicated to the doable. It’s a huge part of what I mean when I say poetry. 

And I bet every poet would agree that a poem begins in silence though they would probably disagree once it begins:  the poem, I mean. But it happens throughout. In every poem I believe. Silence is shaping the thing. I was in a meeting on Wednesday at the Dia office planning the big silence event. We should have a blog said Barbara. Oh I do have a blog I thought. O Harriet. And so she begins….

Originally Published: May 1st, 2009
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Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was educated in Catholic schools, graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. They gave their first reading at CBGB's and then gravitated to St. Mark's church where they studied with Ted...

  1. May 1, 2009
     Catherine Halley

    Hi Eileen! We're so glad to have you here. You already made me laugh three times with your first post. Thanks for that, and for joining us. I, for one, can't wait to read your diary.

  2. May 1, 2009
     Annie FInch

    O Harriet!!\r
    Welcome Eileen!!!!!

  3. May 1, 2009
     Chris Piuma

    And I bet every poet would agree that a poem begins in silence\r

    I maybe prefer a poem to begin in noise (i.e., in the world) and achieve silence. But perhaps I am nostalgic for silence.

  4. May 1, 2009
     Sina Queyras

    Hi Eileen, \r
    Great to see you here.

  5. May 1, 2009
     Mary Meriam

    Good move, Harriet. Hi, Eileen.

  6. May 2, 2009
     Jason Guriel

    Welcome aboard!

  7. May 2, 2009
     Andrea Lawlor

    Hey Eileen! I'm psyched you're a blogger now. Yay Harriet for making this happen.

  8. May 2, 2009
     Eileen Myles


    I totally knew you would be the poet to say, no, I silence. Doesn't noise even get informed by micro-silences? \r

    Thanks for your greeting. I have a cafe out my window and it's summer already and I feel like I'm backstage at a rock concert. Not much silence here.\r


  9. May 2, 2009
     Eileen Myles


    I was a blogger before. I guess it was just a more sneaky one. I'm glad you read this. I'll be seeing you here.\r


  10. May 3, 2009
     michael j

    maybe i didn't catch it in your post: why are you flying to Texas? I'm in Texas. North Texas. Leaving for South Texas next week.

  11. May 5, 2009
     Eileen Myles

    I read at a cafe in El Paso w Bobby Byrd n Veronica Guajardo. Actually the reading series was called The Dishonest Mailman and as a dap (daughter of an american postalworker) I was in awe of this name. I went on to Los Cruces and read at NMSU courtesy of the great Connie Voisine. Where are you? I guess I should go write my blog...