Eileen Myles’s The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (Semiotext(e)/MIT, 2009) is an eclectic assemblage of writings, the title essay offers an account of trips to Reykjavik in 1996 and 2007 to explore Icelandic art, culture, politics, and poetry. The volume also includes a series of studies on female artists, including Sadie Benning, Nicole Eisenman, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, and Peggy Ahwesh, as well as a few men: Jack Pierson, Stephen Spielberg, James Schuyler, William Pope.L, and Robert Smithson.

Eileen Myles blogs weekly on art for openfordesign.msn.com and is one of the best-known unofficial poets in America. Sorry, Tree is the most recent of the more than twenty books she’s published since the 1970s. The Importance of Being Iceland will be the first full volume of her art writing. Myles was Artistic Director of the Poetry Project during the Reagan years, ran for President as an openly female write-in candidate in 1992, and has contributed essays, articles, and reviews to Art in AmericaBook ForumThe NationCabinetThe StrangerThe Village VoiceIndexThe Print Collector’s NewsletterProvincetown Arts, and Nest. She is currently a Professor of Writing at the University of California, San Diego.