Edgar Albert Guest was born August 20, 1881 in Birmingham, England – died August 5, 1959 in Detroit, Michigan.  Guest was a prolific American poet who was popular in the first half of the 20th century and became known as the People’s Poet. In 1891, Guest came with his family to the United States from England. After he began at the Detroit Free Press as a copy boy and then a reporter, his first poem appeared December 11, 1898. He became a naturalized citizen in 1902. For 40 years, Guest was widely read throughout North America, and his sentimental, optimistic poems were in the same vein as the light verse of Nick Kenny, who wrote syndicated columns during the same decades. From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest penned some 11,000 poems which were syndicated in some 300 newspapers and collected in more than 20 books, including A Heap o’ Livin’ (1916) and Just Folks (1917). Guest was made Poet Laureate of Michigan, the only poet to have been awarded the title. His popularity led to a weekly Detroit radio show which he hosted from 1931 until 1942, followed by a 1951 NBC television series, A Guest in Your Home. When Guest died in 1959, he was buried in Detroit’s Woodlawn Cemetery. His work still occasionally appears in periodicals such as Reader’s Digest, and some favorites, such as “Myself” and “Thanksgiving,” are still studied today. Guest received a mention in Lemony Snicket’s The Grim Grotto, though not in a particularly favorable manner. His great-niece Judith Guest is a successful novelist who wrote Ordinary People.


Original Edgar Albert Guest Autograph, signed on a A Heap o’ Livin’ Fly Leaf. Written on fly leaf: Sincerley yours Edgar A Guest Dec. 22, 1916. Approx. Size of Fly Leaf 5 x 7 3/8 inches. Regular Price – $ 95.00 / Sale Price – $ 42.00.

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