Barbara Guest

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Barbara Guest
Gloria Graham Barbara Guest.jpg
Photograph by Gloria Graham during the video taping of "Add-Verse", 2003
Born (1920-09-06)6 September 1920
Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
Died 15 February 2006(2006-02-15) (aged 85)
Berkeley, California, United States
Occupation Poet
Genre Poetry, prose
Literary movement New York School
Notable works "Herself Defined", "Fair Realism", "Forces of Imagination"

Barbara Guest née Barbara Ann Pinson (September 6, 1920 – February 15, 2006) was an American poet and prose stylist. Guest first gained recognition as a member of the first generation New York School of poetry.[1]

Born in Wilmington, North Carolina and raised in California, Guest earned a B.A. in General Curriculum-Humanities in 1943 at UC Berkeley. She spent years in New York City where she became involved with the New York School Poets. She was also well known for her book on the poet H.D., Herself Defined: The Poet H.D. and Her World (1984). In 1999, she was awarded the Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Poetry Society of America.

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • The Location of Things (Tibor de Nagy, 1960)
  • Poems: The Location of Things, Archaics, The Open Skies (Doubleday & Company, 1962)
  • The Open Skies (1962)
  • The Blue Stairs (Corinth Books, 1968)
  • Moscow Mansions (Viking, 1973)
  • The Countess from Minneapolis (Burning Deck Press, 1976)
  • Seeking Air (Black Sparrow, 1977; reprint, Los Angeles: Sun & Moon Press, 1997)
  • The Türler Losses (Montréal: Mansfield Book Mart, 1979)
  • Biography (Burning Deck, 1980)
  • Quilts (Vehicle Edition, 1981)
  • Herself Defined: The Poet H. D. and Her World (Doubleday & Company, 1984)
  • Fair Realism (Sun & Moon Press, 1989)
  • Musicality (1988)
  • Defensive Rapture (Sun & Moon Press, 1993)
  • Selected Poems (Sun & Moon Press, 1995)
  • Quill Solitary, Apparition (The Post-Apollo Press, 1996)
  • Seeking Air (Sun & Moon Press, 1997)
  • Etruscan Reader VI (with Robin Blaser and Lee Harwood) (1998)
  • Rocks on a Platter (Wesleyan, 1999)
  • If So, Tell Me (Reality Street Editions, UK, 1999)
  • The Confetti Trees (Sun & Moon, 1999)
  • Symbiosis (Berkeley: Kelsey Street Press, 2000)
  • Miniatures and Other Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2002)
  • Forces of Imagination: Writing on Writing (Kelsey Street Press, 2003)
  • Durer in the Window: Reflexions on Art (Roof Books, 2003)
  • The Red Gaze (Wesleyan University Press, 2005)
  • Fallschirme, Gebliebter. Ausgewählte Gedichte (German, Bilingual Edition, luxbooks, 2008)
  • The Collected Poems of Barbara Guest (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2008)
“To speak with Barbara Guest about poetry was always to be in the presence of a fiercely uncompromised vision of the art and its obligations. Her insights continually astonished me. They were beholden to no one. And the work itself, of a lyric intelligence entirely her own. For whatever reasons, and I can sadly imagine many, it has not received its full due, but it will. The music insists.”
Michael Palmer[2]

Collaborative books[edit]

Note: the source for this section is from "Introducing Barbara Guest" by Charles Bernstein, appended in a footnote to the transcript by John Tranter [3]

  • I Ching, with Sheila Isham (Paris, France: Mourlot Art Editions, 1969)
  • Musicality, with June Felter (Kelsey St. Press, 1988)
  • The Nude, Warren Brandt (Art Editions, New York, 1989
  • The Altos, with artist Richard Tuttle (San Francisco: Hank Hine Publisher, 1993)
  • Stripped Tales, with artist Anne Dunn (Berkeley, California: Kelsey St. Press, 1995)
  • Strings, with artist Ann Slacik (Paris, France, 1999)
  • The Luminous, with artist Jane Moorman (Palo Alto, California, 1999)
  • Symbiosis, with artist Laurie Reid[4] (Kelsey St. Press, 2000)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Jacket author notes: Barbara Guest". 2003-10-16. Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  2. ^ Haven, Cynthia (1920-09-06). " "When I Say The Word Home, I Almost Whisper It"". Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  3. ^ "Jacket # 10 - Charles Bernstein Introduces Barbara Guest". 1999-04-23. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  4. ^ first exhibited at the Whitney Museum, New York City, in the Spring of 2000