Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

November 15, 1996

Author Barbara Guest To Read at the Library of Congress

On Thursday evening, December 5, poet and novelist Barbara Guest will read from her work in the Mumford Room on the 6th floor of the James Madison Memorial Building. The reading, which is presented under the auspices of the Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund, will begin at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are not required.

Barbara Guest is the author of many collections of poetry, including The Location of Things (1960), The Blue Stairs (1968), Moscow Mansions (1973), Fair Realism (1989), and Defensive Rapture (1993). Her Selected Poems appeared in 1995. She is also the author of a novel, Seeking Air (1978) and a biography of the poet H.D., Herself Defined (1984), among other works. Born in North Carolina, Ms. Guest spent her childhood in Florida and California. After graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, she moved to New York City, where she connected with the emerging New York Poets and artists of Abstract Expressionism, who influenced her poetry. Now living in San Francisco, Ms. Guest was recently the subject of a festschrift celebrating her writing at Brown University.

The poetry and literature reading series at the Library of Congress is the oldest in the Washington, D.C., area, and among the oldest in the United States. This annual series of public poetry and fiction readings, lectures, symposia, and occasional dramatic performances began in the 1940s and has been almost exclusively supported since 1951 by a gift from the late Gertrude Clarke Whittall, who wanted to bring the appreciation of good literature to a larger audience. The Poetry and Literature Center administers the series and is the home of the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, a position which has existed since 1936, when the late Archer M. Huntington endowed the Chair of Poetry at the Library of Congress. Since then, many of the nation's most eminent poets have served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress and, after the passage of Public Law 99-194, as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry. The Poet Laureate suggests authors to read in the literary series, plans other special literary events during the reading season, and usually introduces the programs.

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PR 96-164
ISSN 0731-3527

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