Thursday, February 16, 2006

In Memoriam, Barbara Guest 1920-2006

Just got a note from Julianna Spahr letting us know that Barbara Guest passed away last night at her home in Berkeley. Julianna links to this poem. You can also find a generous selection from her writings here.

Sad news: hers was an exceptionally productive and full poetic life.

There's a good informative obituary here.

Turns out Guest's biography of H.D., Herself Defined: H.D. and Her World, stirred up controversy when it appeared in 1984. Guest took H.D. to task for her narcissism and the decline in her late writing at a time when a new generation of feminist scholars was rediscovering H.D. as a Modernist pioneer.

The obit above has some interesting things to say about the oscillations in Barbara Guest's own poetic reputation over the years. The story of modern American poetry keeps getting written and rewritten--1912 is still happening!

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