Vancouver 1963 Poetry Conference & Miscellaneous Recordings

Recordings by Fred Wah of readings, lectures and discussions by notable New American poets


Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Artistic legacies
  • Memory

Organizing Institutions



Fred Wah, Aaron Levy, Louis Cabri

Opens to public


Slought Foundation presents a digitized version of Fred Wah's recordings of the 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference, as well as select readings and lectures (1961-67) from Wah's collection.

"Poetry conferences at Vancouver (1963) and Berkeley (1965) were significant events that brought together and introduced a range of poets from diverse locations and temperaments. Warren Tallman was the man behind the conference in Vancouver, an event Robert Creeley described as 'landmark' in that it brought 'together for the first time, a decisive company of then disregarded poets such as Denise Levertov, Charles Olson, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan, Margaret Avison, Philip Whalen and myself, together with as yet unrecognized younger poets of that time, Michael Palmer, Clark Coolidge and many more.'" -- Steve Clay & Rodney Phillips, 1998

read more

"The July-August 1963 Poetry Conference in Vancouver spanned three weeks and involved about sixty people who had registered for a program of discussions, workshops, lectures, and readings designed by Warren Tallman and Robert Creeley as a summer course at the University of B.C. Warren asked me to tape the morning discussions and the evening lectures and readings. The workshops were not recorded, except by individual journals (see Olson; The Journal of the Charles Olson Archives, Number 4, Fall 1975). I recorded 4-track, 3 3/4 ips, on a Wollensak, using one microphone. I made copies of the tapes twice, once for SUNY-Buffalo and once for Simon Fraser University. Some of the tapes have been transcribed (see Olson, as above).

With the help of Slought Foundation, I am archiving some parts of my tape collection. Though the primary reason for this is to preserve rather old reel-to-reel taped events, I would also like to make this material available to educators, researchers, and poets."

-- Fred Wah

Image clockwise from top left: Jerry Heiserman, Allen Ginsberg, Bobbie Louise Hawkins Creeley, Warren Tallman, Robert Creeley Charles Olson, Don Allen, Philip Whalen, Thomas Jackrell.

The media files available at this site were compressed from those digitized and re-mastered by Aaron Levy in Calgary, Canada from March 7-16 2002.

Copyright note: All recordings by Fred Wah, with prior permission from the poets.

Readings, Discussions, Lectures

Listen to recordings from this series