March 23, 2009
In the effort to preserve valuable information about Barbara Guest’s life for future biographers and lovers of her work, Kelsey Street Press has done a series of interviews with Barbara’s daughter, Hadley Haden Guest. The interviews took place between Fall, 2007 and Spring, 2008, at Barbara’s home in Berkeley, which she shared with Hadley for more than a decade at the end of her life.
The interviews include: Susan Gevirtz, on Barbara’s early years; Kathleen Fraser, on her years in New York City; Brenda Hillman, on certain late poems and the creative process; Rena Rosenwasser on collaborations with visual artists; and Patricia Dienstfrey on Hadley’s recollections of Barbara in the context of family life. If you cite or quote this series on your website or in your work, which you are invited to do, we ask that you acknowledge Kelsey Street Press. These recordings are unedited. Address: 2824 Kelsey Street, Berkeley, CA, 94705.
March 21, 2009
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.Part 1 of 3 Part 2 of 3 Part 3 of 3
April 15, 2007
At the end of her reading, Susan talks with KSP member Hazel White about a fetishization of LA and film from the ’30s and ’40s.
00:00 KSP intro
00:26 intro to 12th of Never
02:16 12th of Never
07:16 Postscript to 12th of Never
08:12 Intro to Black Box Cutaway
11:45 Black Box Cutaway
29:23 Conversation with Hazel White