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March 21, 2009

Susan Gevirtz Interviews Hadley Haden Guest On Barbara Guest’s Life and Work

Susan Gevirtz:  May 9, 2007, Barbara Guest’s livingroom, Berkeley, CA. Recorded with the help of Ramsay Breslin.

The three Gevirtz/Guest tracks divide into two main sections.

Section 1:  Guests’ peripatetic childhood moving back and forth between Florida and West Virginia. Brief profiles of her mother and father. Influences of the Depression. Beverly Hills High in 1930’s. College at UCLA and UC Berkeley. World War II years, social work and other jobs. First marriage to John Dudley and moves from LA to Kansas City and Manhattan. Barbara in Los Angeles, 1940s. Discussions of “Handbook of Surfing,” and “Turkey Villas” from THE BLUE STAIRS. Guest’s conflicted views regarding psychoanalysis and doctors given her Christian Science background. Hollywood and THE CONFETTI TREES. UC Berkeley: the Beats, Josephine Miles, Kenneth Rexroth and the SF Renaissance poets. Poets who influenced Guest’s poetry. Her view of historical time in poetry and the character of her modernism. Hadley Guest reading “Blurred Edge” from MINIATURES.

Section 2:  The third voice is Patricia Dienstfrey’s, co-founder of Kelsey Street Press. Guest’s apartment overlooking Kandinsky’s studio in the Flatiron District. Her respect for artists who came to the U.S. from European and Eastern European during World War II. Her four siblings.

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  Part 1 of 3

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  Part 2 of 3

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  Part 3 of 3