Alison Watt (writer)

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Alison Watt (born 1957) is a Canadian writer, and painter born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Watt grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. She studied biology at Simon Fraser University and botany at the University of British Columbia. She has worked as Education Coordinator at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, a tour leader in Central and South America, and a naturalist aboard the west coast schooner Maple Leaf, sailing among British Columbia's Gulf Islands, Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Alaska.

Writing career[edit]

Watt's book The Last Island: A Naturalist's Sojourn on Triangle Island is a memoir about life and death on a remote seabird colony. The book won the Edna Staebler Award in 2003. She is also an award-winning poet. Her first book of poetry, Circadia, was published in 2006 by Toronto's Pedlar Press. In this collection, scenes of ordinary life unfold in a backdrop of light cycles, tides, and weather, and attempt to capture the lyricism of the processes of nature. Some are set in an Amazon Research station and explore taxonomy and diversity. In others, she moves past nature as a backdrop to delve more deeply into its inner, often invisible workings, such as photosynthesis and pollination, to release them from the language of science.

Watt has illustrated her published books. A fine artist, she has had many solo and group shows. Her work ranges from formal watercolour botanicals reflecting the blend of science and art of her background, to large semi-abstracts in acrylic. She has given numerous courses in botanical painting at Malaspina University-College in Nanaimo. In addition she has taught watercolour and acrylic painting in her studio on Protection Island.



  • The Last Island: A Naturalist’s Sojourn on Triangle Island. Harbour Publishing.
  • Circadia. Pedlar Press.
  • Poems from the Basement. Leaf Press.
  • The Invention of Birds. Leaf Press.


  1. ^ Wilfrid Laurier University 2003: Alison Watt, (retrieved 17 November 2012)

External links[edit]