Harry Guest was born in Penarth in 1932 and educated at Malvern College, Trinity Hall, Cambridge and the Sorbonne where he wrote a thesis on Mallarmé. He taught at schools and universities in France, Japan and the UK before retiring in 1991.
A Puzzling Harvest (Collected Poems 1955–2000) was published by Anvil in 2002. In 2009, Shearsman brought out his long poem ‘Comparisons‘ together with a selection of translations called ‘Conversions‘ and his latest collection Some Times was released by Anvil in 2010. Harry’s three novels are Days, Lost Pictures, and Time after Time. Other publications include Mastering Japanese (Macmillan 1989), Traveller’s Literary Companion to Japan (In Print 1994) and The Artist on the Artist (Elm Bank 2000). His own work has been translated into French, Japanese, Italian and Estonian.
In 1960 the BBC commissioned Harry to translate Gert Westphal’s adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novel Ungeduld des Herzens and G. A. Golfar’s Der Stärkere. His radio-plays The Inheritance and the Emperor of Outer Space were first broadcast on Radio 3 in 1973 and 1976 respectively.
In 1991 he was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship. Since 1994 he has been Honorary Research Fellow of Exeter University. In 1998 he was given an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Plymouth and in 2001 he was elected to Yr Academi Gymreig/The Welsh Academy.
Harry Guest is married to historical novelist Lynn Guest and they have two children.