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The 2018 Artist Lecture with Alison Watt

Haida Gwaii Arts Council
Event organized by Haida Gwaii Arts Council

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Come see this year's artist lecture featuring mixed media artist and writer Alison Watt.

The event begins at 7pm at the Haida Heritage Centre

About the Artist:

I grew up in Victoria and now live on Protection Island, Nanaimo, BC, where my husband and I have raised two children.
I have a BSc in Biology and an MFA in Creative Writing.

I am a painter who writes; I am a writer who paints. I am never sure exactly which comes first. Writing has been a way to
express more accurately what I am drawn to express in the non-verbal language of painting. Both are equally important to
Originally a biologist, I have worked on seabird colonies, in the Amazon, and in a botanical garden. I have led ecotours in
Honduras, the Galapagos, and (under sail), in the Pacific Northwest in the Gulf Islands, the Great Bear Rainforest, Haida
Gwaii, and Alaska. I have traveled extensively by land and sea. In 2008/2009 my husband and I sailed our boat to French
Polynesia. During that year I kept a travel blog illustrated with sketches and paintings.
Biologist/naturalist is the lens through which I see the world and the sensibility I bring to both my painting and writing. My first
book, The Last Island, a Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island, is a memoir of working as a seabird biologist and an elegy to
one of the most wild and beautiful places on the BC coast. In my book of poetry, Circadia, scenes of ordinary life unfold in a
backdrop of light cycles, tides, and weather. Some poems are set in a tropical research station and explore taxonomy and
diversity. In others, I try to move past nature as a backdrop to delve more deeply into its inner, often invisible workings
(photosynthesis, pollination…) to release them from the language of science.


Poetry: Circadia. 2005. Pedlar Press, Toronto.
Non-fiction: The Last Island – a Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island. 2002. Harbour Press, Madeira Park.

Second Place, Subterrain Magazine's Lush Triumphant Annual Poetry Contest, 2011
Long listed Arc Poem of the year 2010
Long listed for Malahat Review long poem 2005
Winner of Subterrain Magazine’s Lush Triumphant Annual Poetry Contest, 2003
Second Place, Prairie Fire Poetry Competition, 2003.
Winner of annual Hinterland Poetry Contest, Backwater Review, 1998.
Recipient of Canada Council for the Arts “Emerging Writers” Grant, 2003, to complete a manuscript of poetry (Working title
“Circadia”, published fall 2005 by Pedlar Press, Toronto).
Two time Literary Delegate to B.C. Festival of the Arts: 1997, 1999.
“The Last Island – a Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island” was nominated for two BC Book Awards (2003): Roderick HaigBrown
and the B.C. Booksellers Choice and won the Edna Staebler Award, 2003 (a national award for a first or second book
of Creative Non-fiction).
Recipient of B.C. Arts Council Grant for a work of historical non-fiction, 2003.
Winner of Victoria School of Writing, Post Card Fiction Contest, 2004.