Peter Quartermain





Peter Quartermain taught contemporary poetry and poetics at the University of British Columbia for over thirty years, retiring in 1999. He was the first Mountjoy Fellow at the University of Durham, UK, in 1990, was Resident Fellow at the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio Study and Conference Centre, Bellagio, Como, Italy in 1997, and was awarded a Killam Research Prize at the University of British Columbia in 1997. He has written or edited numerous articles and several books, including Basil Bunting: Poet of the North (1990) and Disjunctive Poetics (1992); with the English poet Richard Caddel he edited Other: British and Irish Poetry Since 1970 (1999), and, with Rachel Blau DuPlessis, The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics (1999).

From the late seventies until the late nineties he and his wife Meredith ran Slug Press, producing hand-set letter-press poetry broadsides by such writers as Helen Adam, Charles Bernstein, Robin Blaser, George Bowering, Richard Caddel, Robert Creeley, James Laughlin, Daphne Marlatt, Michael McClure, bpNichol, Sharon Thesen, Fred Wah, Phyllis Webb, Jonathan Williams, Louis Zukofsky and others. They closed Slug Press in 1997 and disbanded its equipment, and currently operate Keefer Street Press, for limited-edition letter-press work, as well as Nomados Literary Publishers.

In the late 1980s he exhibited a number of collage/mixed media mail-art pieces to shows in England, France, and Germany curated by the English painter John Furnival, and has since his retirement in 1999 been painting in watercolour. He is currently writing his autobiography Where I Lived and What I Learned There: Part I: Growing Dumb -- an extract appeared in the Capilano Review -- and in between spasms of book- and manuscript-reviewing, has taught in the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University.  He is also gathering his essays together for publication in book form. 

Peter Quartermain was Writer in Residence at Capilano College in 2003, and during his residency, gave the Koerner Lecture on life-writing.  A song entitled "Coeurs d'Amiti�" has been set to music by Doug Smith for performance at The Song Room in Vancouver, February 18, 2006.


 Selected Publications


"Delivering the Bread: from Where I Lived and What I Learned There: Part I: Growing Dumb," Capilano Review 2.38 (fall 2002): 5-10

edited "In Memoriam: Richard Caddel (1949-2003)" Jacket 22

[as Harriet Moorcock] "Fruit Teas," Windsor Review 37.1 (spring 2004): 1-5

"When It Snowed," Kiosk (spring 2004)

"Writing on Air for Dear Life: Richard Caddel," Open Letter 12.2 (spring 2004): 108-120

"Rounders," 71(+) for GB: an Anthology for George Bowering (2005)

Getting Here [thirteen poems], Backwoods Broadsides 95 (Ellsworth, Maine, 2005) 

"Thinking with the Poem," Golden Handcuffs Review 1.5 (Summer-Fall 2005): 169-181

"Sentence Bit" [from Growing Dumb] New Yipes Reader No. 5 (January 2006): 41

Four Poems, Golden Handcuffs Review 1:7 (Summer, Fall 2006)

"Good Morning Sir" [from Growing Dumb], Guilty as Charged: 32nd Summer Writing Program Magazine [Naropa University] (Summer 2006): 225

1976: What I Did for Christmas (2005), designed, hand set and printed on letter press by Peter Quartermain, is available by contacting


publications on line:

[review] Charles Olson's Selected Poems, Robert Creeley, ed. Berkeley, Los Angeles and Oxford: U of California P, 1993 Durham University Journal Basil Bunting issue (March 1995)

[with Richard Caddel] "A Fair Field Full of Folk," Jacket 4 (1998)

"Caddel," Jacket 20 (2002)

"Thinking with the Poem," Jacket 30 (July 2006).

Five Poems, 2nd Ave Poetry (2004)

Three Poems, Oban 06 (2006)

"Paradise As Praxis: A Preliminary note on Bruce Andrews's Lip Service," Witz: a Journal of Contemporary Poetics 6.2 (Summer 1998): 5-18.


about peter quartermain:

Andrew Klobucar, "Slow Learner: An Interview with Peter Quartermain,"  Capilano Review 2.44 (Fall 2004): 5-24



Editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography. Volumes 45, 48 and 54: American Poets 1880-1945. Detroit: Gale Research, 1986.

Basil Bunting: Poet of the North. Durham: Basil Bunting Poetry Archive, 1990.

Disjunctive Poetics: from Gertrude Stein and Louis Zukofsky to Susan Howe. New York: Cambridge UP, 1992.

Editor, with Richard Caddel. Other: British and Irish Poetry since 1970. Hanover, NH and London: UP of New England for Wesleyan UP, 1999.

Editor, with Rachel Blau DuPlessis. The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural Poetics. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1999.

Editor. Geoffrey Smedley: Memory, Measure, Time, and Numbers. A Sculptural Meditation on a Drawing by Piero della Francesca. Farnham: Surrey Institute of Art and Design; Wakefield: Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2000. [Exhibition catalogue]


"'Our Transported Maiden': A Note on American Poetry 1900-1945." Sagetrieb 9.3 (Winter 1990): 1-29.

"Syllable as Music: Lyn Hejinian's Writing Is An Aid To Memory." Sagetrieb 11.3 (Winter 1992): 17-31.

"Parataxis in Basil Bunting and Louis Zukofsky." Sharp Study and Long Toil. Richard Caddel, ed. Durham University Journal special issue (March 1995): 54-70.

"The Mind as Frying Pan: Blaser's Humour." Sulfur 37 [15.2] (Fall, 1995): 108-116.)

"Reading Niedecker." Lorine Niedecker: Woman and Poet. Jenny Penberthy, ed. (Orono: National Poetry Foundation, 1996) 219-227.

"Kathleen Fraser, 22 March 1935 - ." Dictionary of Literary Biography. Volume 169: American Poets Since World War Two. Fifth Series. Joseph Conte, ed. (Detroit: Gale Research, 1996) 106-115.

"Duncan's Texts." Sulfur 40 (Spring 1997): 108-120.

"Writing and Authority in Zukofsky's Thanks to the Dictionary." Upper Limit Speech: The Writing of Louis Zukofsky. Mark Scroggins, ed. (Tuscaloosa and London: U of Alabama P, 1997), 154-174.

"Introduction." Kathleen Fraser. Il Cuore: Selected Poetry 1970-1995. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan UP and U of New England P, 1997, xi-xiii.

"Sound Reading." Close Listening: Poetry and the Performed Word. Charles Bernstein, ed. New York: Oxford UP, 1998, 217-230.

"'The Tattle of Tongue-Play': Mina Loy's Love Songs." Mina Loy: Woman and Poet. Maeera Shreiber and Keith Tuma, ed. (Orono: National Poetry Foundation, 1998), 75-85.

"Paradise as Praxis: A Preliminary Note on Bruce Andrews' Lip Service." Witz: a Journal of Contemporary Poetics 6.2 (Summer 1998): 5-18.

"Paradise of Letters" Chain 6 (Summer 1999), 175-185.

"How I Read Bruce Andrews." Aerial 9 (1999): 161-182.

�The Value of Scholarship: Mina Loy as Fact and Fiction.� PN Review 137 (Jan-Feb 2001): 42-45.