Barbara Guest

1920–2006
Barbara Guest

Barbara Guest was born in North Carolina, and attended the University of California at Berkeley. After college she moved to New York and became associated with the poets John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and Frank O'Hara. Like them, she rejected the then-dominant Confessional school and looked for influences from French poetry. Also like them, she closely associated herself with the art world of New York as a writer for Art News and other arts magazines, and claimed such artists as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning as influences. Her poetry is often very musical and finds ways to draw attention to the language of the poem itself.

Poems

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion