Gay Guard Chamberlin is a writer, performance artist and multi-media visual artist. An award-winning poet, she is a graduate of Columbia College, Chicago, with a Masters in Interdisciplinary Arts, Gay is a member of Poets & Patrons, Illinois State Poets Society, TallGrass Writers Guild, Budlong Writers Group, North Center Seniors Poetry Group sponsored by the Poetry Foundation, and Women on the Verge in Kalamazoo, MI.
She has taught skills as diverse as self-defense/martial arts and paper-making to children and adults, and is a certified Interplay instructor. Gay has also worked as an office manager for an arts-in-schools organization, a waitress, childcare provider, and caregiver for people with dementia.
She lives on the North side of Chicago with her husband, musician-artist Doug Chamberlin. Red Thread Through a Rusty Needle is her first book. She and her sister, Anara Guard, perform poetry together as Sibling Revelry. Watch videos of Sibling Revelry here and here
View Doug Chamberlin's video of Gay's poem "My Mother's Keepsakes".
Read a recent interview with Gay as featured member of Poets & Patrons here.
Quotes from various Sibling Revelry audiences:
Loved your program! The introductions/backgrounds/history for the poems were perfect as well as breaking up the poetry by themes. The interplay between you also worked really well. – Joanne K.
Your reading was a delight! So much fun to see the similarities and difference between the two of you and your work. You read (and write, of course) so expressively. —Michelle K.
It was such a delight for me. It was such a treat to hear their work and see how they play off one another with their different personalities and styles of writing. It was also fun to hear them read each other’s poems.—Ruth K.
I was very grateful for the brief respite your event provided. I ordered your book, so I am anxious for it to arrive. I think my favorite poem may have been the one about “What is Greater than 45” probably because of our current situation. I also loved the poem about her breasts; something I can relate to these days!—Shelli S.
I really loved hearing both of you together and the way your poetry intersects and yet is so different. I think your "concept" in these readings is just so lovely for this strange time. I can imagine writing a dissertation on both of your work and its--maybe "interplay" is the right word? I was definitely seeing your performance art side in the reading. —Abby B.
So lovely to see the two of you together with all your devotees! It was a delightful hour, so thank you. The poems really do come to life and I think you should think about reading each other’s poems more. It adds a certain freedom to the reading, I think. Nina G.
That was a lot of fun. The poem about the mason jar actually got me alittle misty ("the grandmother's home we long to return to") so I covered my cam for a second to blink back the tears. The ending about the lip meeting our lips is wonderful, too. And I loved the poem about the crow and its knick-knack shelf.—Erika M.