Anara Guard grew up in Chicago where her first job was tending the corner newsstand for a penny a minute while Carl-the-Newspaper-Man ate his lunch at Steinway Drugs. She later worked in a thrift shop, pharmacy, check clearinghouse, food co-op, community radio station, small town library, as a maid at a resort on the shores of Lake Michigan, and as a self-defense teacher for women.
Anara studied writing at the Urban Gateways Young Writers Workshop of Chicago with Kathleen Agena, the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts with Norman Corwin, Columbia College Story Workshop, St. Joseph’s College with Stu Dybek, and the Bread Loaf Writers Conference with Robert Cohen and Alix Ohlin. She graduated from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Boston. In 2010, Back Pages Publishing issued her first collection of short stories, The Sound of One Body. Remedies for Hunger (2014) is her second collection and was named one of the Best Books of 2015 by the Chicago Book Review. Her debut novel, Like a Complete Unknown (2022) won Honorable Mention for the Indie Book of the Year from the Chicago Writers Association.
She is also a poet and memoirist. Her poems have improbably won both the John Crowe Ransom Award and a Jack Kerouac Prize. Her first published collection of poetry is Hand on My Heart. She performs poetry as “Sibling Revelry” with her sister, Gay Guard-Chamberlin. In 2023, Anara was a judge for the Benicia Love Poetry Contest.
Her work has recently appeared in The Ear, Gold Man Review, Convergences, and Under the Gum Tree.