My Life is a book of poetry written by Lyn Hejinian and released in 2002. The book arrived forty years into Hejinian's long and prolific career. Hejinian was born in California in 1941, where still remains today. She is married to famous jazz musician Larry Ochs. Throughout her career, Hejinian has been identified as a prominent member of the Language poetry movement. The group, which formed in America in the 1960s and 1970s, prized avant-garde characteristics and sought to prioritize the individual readers interpretation of poetry.
My Life is a stunningly complex work. Hejinian draws upon abstruse literary forms and styles, non-narrative techniques and incredibly detailed imagery. The work appears at first unapproachable and indiscernible. This is intentional and is entirely reflective of Hejinian's style. Yet, at its heart, My Life is a work of autobiography. The subject matter draws from Hejinian's own life, however veiled the references might appear. By doing this, Hejinian also intends to interrogate her own memory, and muse upon the ways in which personal memory is shared. My Life also includes references to Hejinian's progressive politics, which, like the book itself, are far more implicit than explicit. The work was a major critical success and has been considered to be the hallmark of Hejinian's career.
Hejinian continues to write and teach at the University of Berkeley. In 2009 she was awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship Grant. Her latest work, My Life and My Life in the Nineties, was released in 2013.