Barbara Guest

Ivor Griffiths, Poet, Novelist & Short Story Writer

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Barbara Guest
Born 6 September 1920
Wilmington, North Carolina
Died 15 February 2006
Berkeley, California
Occupation American poet

Barbara Guest née Barbara Ann Pinson (6 September, 1920 – 15 February, 2006) was an American poet and critic most often associated with the New York School.

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.


  • 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)
  • Barbara Guest site at Jacket Magazine
  • Poet of the New York School, Is Dead at 85 NY Times obituary
  • "The Gendered Marvelous: Barbara Guest, surrealism, and feminist reception" essay on Guest by Rachel Blau DuPlessis
  • When I Say the Word Home, I Almost Whisper It Tribute & Remembrance on the passing of Guest
  • Barbara Guest Memory Bank A gathering of brief memoirs and BG poems (selected by her readers) to honor the life and writing of Barbara Guest
  • Review of 'The Red Gaze' at poetry magazine "Intercapillary Space"
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