Fred Wah is responsible for many of the recordings we have of West Coast poetry. In May, 2022 Fred Wah donated this fonds, which consisted of 103 reel-to-reel tapes, to the SoundBox Collection. Between 1961 and 1978, Wah made home recordings, as well as creating personal recordings of events and collecting professional recordings related to the West Coast poetry scene in the 1960s through to the 1980s. While all of the items in this collection have much to tell us about TISH and related poetry scenes, this fonds is distinct due to the focus on the 1960s and 1970s. Recordings of note include a ‘wedding gift’ recording of Robert Duncan’s poetry reading, which Duncan gave to Pauline Bunting and Fred Wah at their wedding in 1963, and a lecture on psychedelia made by Charles Olson in Linwood, New York in the same year. The fonds includes the original tapes from the 1963 Vancouver poetry conference. While most of the readings recorded here were made in Vancouver, several are international, ranging from Buffalo, NY to Wisconsin and San Francisco.
Subjects include: Warren Tallman, Ellen Tallman, Fred Wah, Pauline Butling, Margaret Avison, Gladys (Maria) Hindmarch, Robert Duncan, Charles Olson, Ken Tallman, Allen Ginsburg, Ed Dorn, Daphne Marlatt, Robin Blaser, Jack Clarke, Stan Persky, Laurens Van der Post, Ralph Maud, John Wieners, Jack Spicer, Thomas Parkinson, Robert Creeley, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gael Turnbull, Louis Zukofsky, Witter Bynner, George Stanley, Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, Gerry Gilbert, Edward Marshall, Field Dawson, Gary Snyder, Ian Hamilton Finlay, Cid Corman, Michael McClure, George Butterick, Ron Loewinsohn, Joanne Kyger, Lew Welch, Kurt Schwitter, Jim Boyack, Robin Eichele, Victor Coleman, Robert Hogg, Steve Rodefer, David Franks, Kenneth Rexroth, Philip Whalen, Lionel Kearns, Robin Mathews, George Oppen, Basil Bunting, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov and Margaret Avison.