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Finding Aid for the Barbara Guest Papers approximately 1980-1985 LSC.1992
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Barbara Guest, 1920-2006, was an American poet and prose stylist who gained prominence in the 1950s and 1960s as an active member of the New York school of poetry. This collection consists of one annotated manuscript of her biography about the Imagist poet H.D. titled Herself Defined: A Biography of the Poet H.D. It was later published in 1984 as Herself Defined: The Poet H.D. and Her World.
Barbara Guest was born in Wilmington, North Carolina on September 6, 1920, but was raised for most of her life in California. She was an American poet who is most often considered a member of the first generation of the New York school of poetry. The New York school poets were characterized by their vivid imagery, stream of consciousness writing, and spontaneous manner. Drawing their inspiration from the contemporary avant-garde art movements, they are also closely associated with the broader art movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Other poets commonly associated with this school are Frank O'Hara, John Ashbery, Alice Notley, and Kenneth Koch. Guest received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities in 1943 from the University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded the Frost Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Poet's Society of America. Barbara Guest died in Berkeley, California on February 15, 2006.Barbara Guest's manuscript highlights the life of H.D., born Hilda Doolittle (September 10, 1886-September 27, 1961) in Pennsylvania. In 1911 she moved to London where she became recognized and involved with the Imagist movement of the time. The Imagists were an avant garde poetic school focused on precise, clear imagery and sharp, economic language. Their publications included the work of some of the most prominent figures in the Modernist movement. H.D. was the literary editor of the Egoist journal from 1916-1917 and her poetry appeared in the English Review and Transatlantic Review. She was married for a period of time to Richard Aldington although their marriage ended during World War I. H.D. befriended Sigmund Freud and later became his patient. She was an outspoken bisexual and had relationships with men and women throughout her life. Her work and life was rediscovered in the 1970s and she became an icon of the gay and feminist movements.
0.4 linear feet (1 document box)
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