Colin has been writing, plays, stories and poetry since the late eighties. He's had plays performed professionally and otherwise in and around Liverpool, including Real Dreams, Snoopers, She-He, Call Mr Robeson. He wrote and performedagit prop with Liverpool Network theatre in the late 80s and early 90s, and had poems and stories broadcast regularly on BBC Radio Merseyside.
His poetry has been published extensively in magazines and anthologies, including Ambit, Envoi, Fatchance, Interpreter's House, Orbis, Poetry Nottingham, and Smiths Knoll. He has been successful in many poetry competitions (Split the Lark, Mirehouse, Poets Anonymous, Ragged Raven, Sentinel Poetry, The New Writer), and was poet in residence in Liverpool Ropewalks in 2000 and in Kirkby Library on National Poetry Day in 2001.
To help support his writing habit, he works part-time for the Liverpool Adult Learning Service, managing a community grants fund; and has taught writing for theatre, performance poetry and general creative writing for the University of Liverpool, the Workers Educational Association, the Liverpool Adult Learning Service, Liverpool Hope University and the Windows Project. He has also organised and run workshops and readers' groups for the Dead Good Poets Society in Liverpool, and run poetry sessions in Bootle and Crosby Schools.
Singing the City: 1999
Booklet self-published under the Guardsvan imprint. An incomer's claim to a city, inspired by the native Australians' principle that rights to using land must be earned by walking and singing it.
What they said about Singing the City:
" It's Liverpool in the real world, not navel gazing "
" A poetic journey. that touches the now and then of life. "
" A mixture of the tough and tender "
Graven Images: 2001
Booklet self-published under the Guardsvan imprint. The result of a Building Design Partnership residency in the Liverpool Ropewalks area, put together from walking the area and talking to the people involved in the reconstruction and landscaping of its public areas.
Getting The Hang Of It: 2002
booklet, published by Driftwood Publications. A selection of work written over the previous few years. The cover design is from a painting by Tony Dash, kindly donated to the author.
Human Geography: 2005
first collection, published by Driftwood. Many of the poems were written during a Time to Write bursary, awarded by the Arts Council of England. Cover design from Three Saints - Twelve Bottles, an assembly by Tony Dash.
What they said about Human Geography:
" ...over and again his poems manage to listen in on unexamined lives while at the same time drawing a larger world into their compass. "
" Colin Watts brings us a world in turn as humorous and poignant, lyrical and absurd, as the one in which we live "
" Amusing, self-deprecating, gentle, or bitter, there are many voices in these poems "
John Ballam, New Hope International 2009
A second collection, Taking Down the Tree Houseis due to be published by Headland Publications in the spring of 2010. Many of the poems in this collection stem from the hard work and inspiration generated by the Writing School, run by the Poetry Business in Huddersfield and attended by the author between October 2006 and April 2008.