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Stephen Watts (UK)

Photo by Amarjit Chandan
Photo by Amarjit Chandan

Stephen Watts is a poet, editor and translator, with family roots in the Italian Alps. He lives in Whitechapel. He twice won second prize in the National Poetry Competition (1983 and 1992). Recent books of his own work include Gramsci & Caruso (2004), The Blue Bag (2005), Mountain Language / Lingua di montagna (2009), The Language Of It (DVD 2007), and a video-poem Journey To My Father (2009). Among his own most recent books are Mountain Language (2008) and Journey Across Breath (2011), both published by Hearing Eye and with Italian translation by Cristina Viti; Ancient Sunlight (Enitharmon, 2014); and Republic Of Dogs / Republic Of Birds (Test Centre, 2016).

Among his co-translations are chapbooks by Ziba Karbassi and Adnan al-Sayegh, full-length collections by A. N. Stencl (All My Young Years) Meta Kušar (Ljubljana) and Adnan al-Sayegh (Pages from the Diary of an Exile), and anthologies of Slovenian, Kurdish and Georgian poetry. He edited Amarjit Chandan's Sonata For Four Hands for Arc Publications in 2010 and is currently is working on translations of Tonino Guerra, Victor Sunyol and Ziba Karbassi's poetry.

He edited Amarjit Chandan's Sonata For Four Hands (2010) and has co-translated poetry by A. N. Stencl (2007), Ziba Karbassi (2009), Adnan al-Sayegh (2009) and Meta Kušar (2010). He has worked extensively as a poet in schools and hospitals in East London and in 2006 worked with HI-Arts in Inverness on social issues of suicide and survival.

He has read his own work internationally, most recently in Sibiu, Bucharest, Milan and Ravenna. In 2010 he read at festivals in Syria and works closely with the Syrian poet Golan Haji who lives now in Paris.