Barbara Guest

Photo: l to r: Barbara Guest, Hadley Guest
Photo: l to r: Barbara Guest, Hadley Guest

It’s good to see Jacket2 continuing to focus on the poetry of Barbara Guest, a forceful writer of uncompromisingly modern tastes.
I am pleased to say that at a reading for Carl Rakosi in San Francisco some years ago (where Carl read  his short poem “The Laboratory Rat”) I was able to meet Barbara Guest. I mentioned that Allen Ginsberg once lived on the same street as she did, in Berkeley, at the time he wrote “A Supermarket in California”.
“Well, it’s a very long avenue,” she replied sweetly. “I think Allen lived somewhere on the downtown end.”
Her work has featured in Jacket magazine many times. To read these pieces, click on the links below:

Jacket 10 - Wendy Mulford on Barbara Guest’s The Blue Stairs
Jacket 10 - Charles Bernstein Introduces Barbara Guest
Jacket 10 - Geoff Ward reviews Barbara Guest, If So, Tell Me
Jacket 10 - Sara Lundquist on Barbara Guest’s The Countess From Minneapolis(1976)
Jacket 10 - Ramez Qureshi - Review of Barbara Guest, Rocks on a Platter, Wesleyan, 1999
Jacket 10 - Susan Gevirtz - on Barbara Guest
Jacket 10 - Barbara Guest - Five pieces from The Confetti Trees
Jacket 10 - Marjorie Welish (on Barbara Guest) - The Lyric Lately
Jacket 10 - John Tranter - poem - ‘The Twilight Guest’
Jacket 15 - Barbara Guest - (note) To Kenneth [Koch]
Jacket 16 - Angel Hair feature - Barbara Guest: Homage (1968)
Jacket 21 - Jane Sprague reviews Barbara Guest, Miniatures and Other Poems
Jacket 25 - Barbara Guest and Kathleen Fraser talk to Elisabeth Frost and Cynthia Hogue
Jacket 25 - Barbara Guest reads from The Red Gaze [links to PennSound, an archive of poetry sound recordings at the Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania]
Jacket 28 - Timothy Gray: ‘Fictions Dressed Like Water’: Aqueous Imagery in the Poetry of Barbara Guest (15,000 words)

Frank O’Hara, Barbara Guest (center) at the closing of the Cedar Bar, New York, 30 March, 1963, detail, photo copyright © Fred W.McDarrah, 1963, 2000

Photo: Frank O’Hara, Barbara Guest (center) at the closing of the Cedar Bar, New York, 30 March, 1963, detail, photo copyright © Fred W.McDarrah, 1963, 2000

In July 2007 Kathleen Fraser interviewed Hadley Guest about Barbara Guest, her life and her writing, for an audio recording. Links to the items below are on Jacket2 at this page.  

The complete recording lasts two hours and 31 minutes and is available on PennSound’s Barbara Guest author page.
    1.    introduction (0:23): MP3
    2.    Hadley Guest reading "The Next Floor" by Barbara Guest (0:51): MP3
    3.    Kathleen Fraser on being introduced to Barbara Guest and her work (13:46): MP3
    4.    Barbara Guest’s friendship with painters (9:33): MP3
    5.    Hadley Guest on growing up around poets and painters (5:15): MP3
    6.    the division between uptown and downtown in the New York art world in the 60s (12:31): MP3
    7.    Barbara Guest's refusal to be pigeon-holed (2:23): MP3
    8.    the cruelty of the downtown scene and Barbara Guest’s erasure (18:31): MP3
    9.    Hadley Guest on living with Barbara during the last few years of her life and hearing about her first marriage to John Dudley (7:18): MP3
    10.    Trumbull Higgins and social position in relation to money (11:33): MP3
    11.    Barbara’s uptown studio and her strong family feelings (16:55): MP3
    12.    Barbara’s shared apartment with Perdita Schaffner and her experience working walking around Union Square (5:00): MP3
    13.    Productivity, freedom, and moving west (4:15): MP3
    14.    Stephen Guest and introducing Barbara Guest to H.D. (15:35): MP3
    15.    Barbara’s work on H.D. (12:27): MP3
    16.    Barbara’s awareness of women writers, her relation to feminism, and her commitment to being a wife and mother as well as a poet (15:29): MP3

Barbara Guest

Air for roses (PoemTalk #24)
Barbara Guest: The art of poetry
LINEbreak: Barbara Guest in conversation with Charles Bernstein
On Barbara Guest, 'The Location of Things'
Three poems by Barbara Guest
Tribute to Barbara Guest
Typescript of two early poems by Barbara Guest