Meredith Quartermain







Meredith Quartermain has published and read her work in Canada, the U.S. and Britain.   Her most recent book is Vancouver Walking (NeWest 2005); it received the the BC Book Awards 2006 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.  Chapbooks include Terms of Sale (Meow 1996), Abstract Relations (Keefer Street 1998), Veers (Backwoods Broadsides 1998), Spatial Relations (Diaeresis 2001), Inland Passage (housepress 2001), The Eye-Shift of Surface (Greenboathouse 2003), and [with Robin Blaser] Wanders (Nomados 2002).  Her book of prose poems, A Thousand Mornings (Nomados 2002), is about Vancouver's oldest neighbourhood, the dockside area of Strathcona.  Her work has also appeared in Canadian Literature, Literary Review of Canada, Matrix, The Capilano Review, West Coast Line, CV2, Event Magazine, filling Station, Prism International, Raddle Moon, Chain, Sulfur, Tinfish, East Village Poetry Web and other magazines.  She has taught English Literature and Composition at the University of BC and Capilano College, and Creative Writing at the Naropa University Summer Writing Program. With husband Peter, she runs Nomados Literary Publishers.

Praise for Vancouver Walking:

Globe & Mail: Packing a centuries-wise arsenal of research, Quartermain's poetic tour . . . reads the downtown's every street sign and historical plaque to invoke not vagaries of weather or a sensitive narrator's emotional landscape, but the lived epic of how specific native soil became appropriated to a condition of contemporary real estate.  Margaret Christakos

Monday Magazine: With Vancouver Walking, Meredith Quartermain enters the esteemed literary company of  George Bowering, Daphne Marlatt, Frank Davey, Jeff Derksen and others who have written the multitudinous city, exploring Vancouver as a moving target for poetry.  . . . Under Quartermain's gaze, even the most local Vancouver story becomes a link to the greater world, transforming the city into a cosmopolis made of the mad whirls of history, in constant motion with the fates of its living (and long dead) millions.  Marc Christensen


On-line Information


Interview with Rob Mclennan (2004): Alterran Poetry Assemblage

Videos of Meredith Quartermain's poetry are available:

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On-line Publications


"Matter 4: Organic in-organs," "Matter 6: The Hard Seed-halves of Softness," "Matter 9: To texture to verb," and "Matter 10: A World-thing, a State of Powder"  Green Integer Review 2 (2006)

"Discovery At Sea," Oban 06

"Asphyxiation" and "A Theory of Fire," Doppelganger Magazine (2006)

"Cartographer at Work" and "Macdonald Bus," Stylus Poetry Journal (2005)

Five Pieces from Northwest Passage, How(2) (2005)

Three Poems, Fascicle (2004)

Five Poems, 2nd Avenue (2004)

"The Singe of Language" and "I and Me," Nth Position (fall 2003)

"Filaments and Layers" and "Linear Dimensions 4: Inversion,"  Alterran Poetry Assemblage (2003)

"Tulip Glass, for Ric Caddel" Jacket 22 (2003)

Eight Poems, The East Village Poetry Web  (2000)




Books, Chapbooks & Broadsides


Vancouver Walking (NeWest 2005) 

�Walking cinemas, civic memory tours, these poems are sites for the eruption of public history chronically denied but there as trace in the very names that mark our streets.  Meredith Quartermain's observant eye tracks what underlies or surrounds our daily routine, she sees what routine blinds us to, and in the process constructs some wonderfully trenchant slices of contemporary city life.�      �Daphne Marlatt

�In Vancouver Walking Meredith Quartermain sights the coordinates of tangible and historical attentions as she moves through an amazement of place and language. The word here is foot and eye, step by step, crisscrossing the city with the grids and layers of its own minute particulars and articulating the truth of the imagination, the dynamics of the intersect. These poems listen carefully to the yearning of place, the kind of naming a city answers to.�               �Fred Wah

Highway 99 (Stanzas 35; Above Ground 2003)

The Eye-Shift of Surface (Greenboathouse Books 2003) 

A Thousand Mornings (Nomados 2002)

Meredith Quartermain has really struck gold with A Thousand Mornings, a serious-playful and engaging work in which she weighs and sounds what presents itself outside a real window, inside language, and through verbal-emotional associations. Written in pointillist phrases, diaristic, notational, associative, punning, funning and just following any track, the work sits down to itself: to the world, and to the self in time. It considers all the little bits and details of domestic life and the thinking these can engender.  "Looking out of the window of my room is a window looking out my head."  This work creates an osmotic border between seeing and writing, a realist hypnogogic passage between memory and today, between outside and inside, between now and then.  That anywhere is everywhere is proven once again with this brave, enchanting book. Rachel Blau DuPlessis

[with Robin Blaser] Wanders (Nomados 2002)      

An amazing, even jaw dropping performance . . . . her poems absolutely stand up to the challenge of Blaser's own . . . . The sum of it is totally exhilarating. . . . Ron Silliman

Inland Passage (housepress 2001)

Spatial Relations (Diaeresis 2001)

Gospel According to Bees (Keefer Street 2000)

Veers (Backwoods Broadsides 1998)

Abstract Relations (Keefer Street 1998)

Terms of Sale (Meow 1996)



Selected Publications: Magazines & Anthologies


"Brain Coral," "Defiance," "Omnibus," and "A Piece of Cake," Event Magazine 35:2 (2006): 17-20.

"Oliver Chronicle," CV2 28:4 (Spring 2006) rpt

"Proclamation," "Baptizing Mars," "Fireground," and "Homer Street" Golden Handcuffs Review 1:7 (2006)

"Matter 4: Organic in-organs," "Matter 6: The Hard Seed-halves of Softness," "Matter 9: To texture to verb," and "Matter 10: A World-thing, a State of Powder"  Green Integer Review 2 (2006)

"Walk to commercial drive," West Coast Line 47: Unfinished Business: Photographing Vancouver Streets 1955 to 1985 (2005)

"Asphyxiation" and "A Theory of Fire," Doppelganger Magazine (2005)

"Cartographer at Work" and "Macdonald Bus," Stylus Poetry Journal  (2005)

"Matter 2: World" and "Matter 8: A Glass House of Scaffolding," Moosehead Anthology 10: Future Welcome (2005)

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

"Pacific Northwest," Literary Review of Canada (April 2005)

"A Coronal for L.N." Court Green 2 (2005)

Five pieces from Northwest Passage, Windsor Review 37:2 (Fall 2004)

"Record," filling Station 32 (2004)

Four pieces from A Thousand Mornings, P-Queue 1 (2004)

Seven Poems, Bongos of the Lord 17 (Spring 2004)

"For Robin Blaser," Canadian Literature 180 (Spring 2004)

"Geography," Cranky 2 (Spring 2004)

"First Night," Prism International (Fall 2003)

�Tulip Glass, for Ric Caddel� Jacket 22 (2003)

"The Singe of Language" and "I and Me," Nth Position (fall 2003)

�History,� �The Pug Dog Next Door,� and �Reverie,�  Xerography (2003)

Six Poems from Matter, Ecopoetics 2 (2002)

Three Stories, West Coast Line (Fall 2002)

 "'Where�s Here?'" Queen Street Quarterly (Spring 2002)

 "Meaning Dreams," Goodfoot 2 (2002)

Two Poems, The Capilano Review 30th Anniversary Issue (2002)

Three Poems from Wanders [with Robin Blaser] Matrix 60 (2001)

"Human Infusoria" Sulfur 44 (1999)

"Existence in Space," Tinfish 8 (Summer 1999)

"From The Book of Words," Five Fingers Review 17 (1998)

 "Abstain from Distance" and "Wall Music," Raddle Moon 17 (1998)

 Eight Poems, The East Village Poetry Web

 "Linearity" and "Expansion and Contraction," Potepoetzine 17



Reviews and Other Writings


[Review] Reimagining Canadian Poetry: Writing in Our Time: Canada's Radical Poetries in English (1957-2003) by Pauline Butling and Susan Rudy.  Literary Review of Canada (December 2005).

[Review] Are You One of Canada�s Embarrassing Poets?: poets talk: Conversations with Robert Kroetsch, Daphne Marlatt, Erin Mour�, Dionne Brand, Marie Annharte Baker, Jeff Derksen and Fred Wah, by Pauline Butling and Susan Rudy. Terminal City, March 12, 2005.

[Review] Lyrical Prose: Discrete Categories Forced into Coupling by Kathleen Fraser Jacket 26 (2005).

[Review] A Song in Murderous Time � The Poetry of Richard Caddel, Ecopoetics 4/5(2004-2005).

�Innocent Looking Faces:  Typography at (m)�th�r T��gu� Pres� and Greenboathouse Books�  Open Letter (Fall 2004)

[Review] Round About Seeing: Around Sea, by Brenda Ijima Jacket 25 (2004)

[Review] Undecorating the Lyric: Word Group, by Marjorie Welish Jacket 25 (2004)

[Review] Words for Darkness: Writing in the Dark by Richard Caddel Jacket 25 (2004)

[Review] Minesweep: Paravane: New and Selected Poems 1996-2003 by Frances Presley Jacket 25 (2004)

Postscript: On Klaus Scher�bel (Artspeak 2004)

[Review] Wanted: The Author: Jill Hartman, A Painted Elephant; derek beaulieu

with wax; Kimmy Beach, Alarum Within: Theatre PoemsCanadian Literature, Online (2004).

[Review] "Lyric Capability: the Syntax of Robin Blaser" Jacket 22 (2003); Capilano Review (Fall 2003)

[Review] "Un-identified Selves: Denise Riley on Writing Others who Write Us" West Coast Line (Winter 2001-02)

[Review ] A Key into the Language of America by Rosmarie Waldrop and Mars by Norma Cole, West Coast Line (Fall 1995)

[Review] A Poetics by Charles Bernstein, West Coast Line (Winter 1992-93)

[Review] The Black Debt by Steve McCaffery, West Coast Line (Fall 1991)

"Gertrude Stein," Dictionary of Literary Biography: American Poets (1880-1945), Volume 54: Third Series, Part 2 (Detroit: Gale Research, 1987)

[Radio Interview] Colin Browne on The New Poetics Colloquium, for Monitor on CBC (broadcast 12 October 1985)

 [Radio Interview] Daphne Marlatt on "Ana Historic," for Monitor on CBC (broadcast 30 November 1985)

 Not For Ourselves Alone: 50 Years At York House School, 1932-1982 (York House School, 1983)