Harry Guest

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Harry Guest, Exeter, 1973

Harry Guest (Henry Bayly Guest; born 1932 in Penarth) is a British poet born in Wales.

Life and career[edit]

Harry Guest was educated at Malvern College and read Modern Languages at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge. He wrote a thesis on Mallarmé at the Sorbonne. At Trinity Hall he co-edited the poetry magazine Chequer, which continued for eleven issues and published poems by Thom Gunn, Anne Stevenson, Ted Hughes, and Sylvia Plath.[1] From 1955-66, he taught at Felsted School and Lancing College, and then moved to Japan, becoming a lecturer in English at Yokohama National University.[2] He returned to England in 1972 and was Head of French at Exeter School until his retirement in 1991.[3] A selection of his poetry was included in Penguin Modern Poets 16. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Exeter and was awarded an honorary doctorate (LittD) by Plymouth University in 1998. Apart from his many collections of poetry, he is well known as a translator from the French and Japanese, and has published several novels and non-fiction books including the Traveller's Literary Companion to Japan (1994) and The Artist on the Artist (2000). His translations include a selected poems of Victor Hugo, The Distance, The Shadows (2002) and Post-War Japanese Poetry (with Lynn Guest and Kajima Shôzô, 1972). He lives in Exeter, and is married to the historical novelist Lynn Guest, they have two children.[4][5][6]

Harry Guest in Topsham, 2011


  • A Different Darkness, London: Outposts, 1964
  • Arrangements, Northwood, UK: Anvil, 1968
  • The Cutting-Room, London: Anvil, 1970
  • Mountain Journal, Sheffield, UK: Rivelin, 1975
  • A House Against the Night, London: Anvil, 1976
  • English Poems, London: Words, 1976
  • Days, London: Anvil, 1978
  • Elegies, Durham, UK: Pig, 1980
  • Lost and Found, London: Anvil, 1983
  • The Emperor of Outer Space, Durham, UK: Pig, 1983
  • Lost Pictures, Exeter, UK: Albertine, 1991
  • Coming to Terms, London: Anvil, 1994
  • So Far, Exeter, UK: Stride, 1998
  • Versions, Nether Stowey, UK: Odyssey, 1999
  • A Puzzling Harvest, Collected Poems 1955-2000, London: Anvil, 2002
  • Time After Time, Exeter, UK: Albertine, 2005
  • Comparisons & Conversions, ISBN 978-1848610194 Exeter, UK: Shearsman, 2009
  • Some Times, London: Anvil, 2010


  1. ^ His co-editors for the first issue were Michael Bakewell, Ronald Hayman, Karl Miller and Michael Podro; the magazine was later taken over by Malcolm Ballin and Paul McQuial. See Chequer, 1 (1953) and David Miller and Richard Price, British Poetry Magazines 1914-2000: A History and Bibliography of Little Magazines, London: The British Library, 2006, 92.
  2. ^ Edward Lucie-Smith (ed), British Poetry since 1945, Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1970, 363.
  3. ^ Edward Lucie-Smith (ed), British Poetry since 1945 (revsd edn), Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin, 1985, 233.
  4. ^ Harry Guest Shearsman Titles
  5. ^ Harry Guest Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine Anvil Press Poetry
  6. ^ The Writers of Wales Database Archived 2014-05-12 at the Wayback Machine academi.org

External links[edit]