Scope and Content
Organization and Arrangement
Title: Barbara Guest papers
Date (inclusive): 1980-1985
Collection number: 1992
Guest, Barbara 1920-2006
1 document box (.5 linear ft.)
Abstract: Barbara Guest 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 contains a manuscript of her biography about the Imagist poet H.D. entitled 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.
Language: Finding aid is written in
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
Provenance/Source of Acquisition
Processed by Stacy Wood, 2012.
The June L. Mazer Lesbian Archive at UCLA
June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives,
UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW)
These collections expand the pool of primary source materials available to researchers and to the community at large. This
partnership was initiated by CSW and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to inventory, organize,
preserve, and digitize more than eighty Mazer collections pertaining to lesbian and feminist activism and writings.
[Identification of item], Barbara Guest papers (Collection Number 1992). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young
Research Library, UCLA.
Barbara Guest was born in Wilmington, North Carolina but 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 University of California Berkeley. She was awarded the Frost
Medal for Lifetime Achievement by the Poet's Society of America.
Scope and Content
This collection contains a manuscript that was published in 1984 although this version is undated. The collection includes
a draft by Barbara Guest about the life of the poet H.D. This version is entitled, Herself Defined: A Biography of the Poet
H.D. but it would later have the title, Herself Defined: The Poet H.D. and Her World.
These writings by Guest highlight 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.
Organization and Arrangement
Arranged according to original order.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Guest, Barbara -- Archives
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) 1886-1961 -- Archival Resources
Imagist poetry, American -- Archival Resources
Women poets, American -- Biography -- Archival Resources