Peter Quartermain’s fonds consists of 196 cassette tapes (initially 180, with an accrual of 16 additional tapes in winter of 2022). These recordings were donated to the SoundBox Collection by Peter and Meredith Quartermain. Peter Quartermain recorded many of his lectures as a professor of English at UBC Vancouver, as a means of making lecture/seminar content accessible to students long before this became a mainstream practice through online learning management systems. The tapes in this fonds were recorded over a span of more than 40 years, from 1961 to 2003, and many relate to Quartermain’s research on poet Basil Bunting, including radio broadcasts, interviews, events, and a graduate course on Bunting. Quartermain’s collection includes far more than just lectures, however. There are also home recordings of Peter Quartermain reading fiction, recordings of sound poetry performances, book launches, radio performances, and poetry readings. There are also several lectures given by other poets and professors who are Quartermain’s contemporaries, some specifically kept for class use, as well as many tapes of the New Poetics Colloquium of the Kootenay School of Writing (KSW) featuring lectures and readings by various poets. His focus on accessibility both in the classroom and in poetry as an art form through his work on queer poetics and marginal poetry can be found in the hundreds of hours of recordings here.
Due to the sheer volume of this collection, subjects are many. They include: Basil Bunting, Gertrude Stein, T.S. Eliot, Susan Howe, Steve McCaffery, Lyn Hejinian, William Carlos Williams, Charles Olson, Robert Duncan, Louis Zukofsky, Kathleen Fraser, Joan Retallack, Beverley Dahlen, Rachel Blau Du Plessis, Rae Armantrout, Susan Gevirtz, Rosemarie Waldrop, Robin Blaser, Jerome McGann, Marjorie Perloff, Nathaniel Mackey, Joseph Conte, Jenny Penberthy, Ezra Pound, P.G. Wodehouse, Meredith Quartermain, Daphne Marlatt, Don Byrd, John “Jack” Clarke, Burton Hatlen, Gael Turnbull, Judith Draycott, Bruce Andrews, George Bowering, Miriam Nichols, Douglas Oliver, Tom Raworth, Geraldine Monk, Nicole Brossard, Diane Ward, Myung Mi Kim, Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsburg, Robert Creeley, Joanne Kyger, Stan Persky, Colin Stuart, Brian Fawcett, George Stanley, Gerry Gilbert, Lorine Neidecker, John Cage, Stephen Cummings, Allen Fisher, Sharon Thesen, John Hulcoop, Joe Rosenblatt, Bill Bissett, David Bromige, Tony Baker, Harry Gilonis, Bob Perelman, Lorraine Weir, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Roy Fisher, Jonathan Williams, Theresa Clark, Carletta Wilson, Peter Courtemanche, Scott McLeod, G.P. Skratz, Bob Davis, Fel Santos, Douglas Oliver, Marc Karlin, Helen Adam, Charles Stein, Jackson MacLow, François Dufrêne, Geraldine Monk, Jack Spicer, James Joyce and Hugh Kenner.