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Watson, Wilfred

Playwright/poet born in Rochester, England, in 1911, died in Nanaimo, British Columbia in 1998. He emigrated to Canada in 1926, and studied at the Universities of British Columbia and Toronto (Ph.D. 1951), where he was influenced by the writings of Marshall McLuhan. He taught English at the University of Alberta until his retirement in 1976.

His verse, often meant to be read aloud, is similar, in some aspects, to what we now refer to as spoken word.

In the 1960s, Mr. Watson turned to drama, writing ten plays, some in verse and many influenced by current thinking (Let's Murder Clytemnestra, for instance, begins with the principles of Marshall McLuhan).

Wilfred Watson posited that multimedia performance was closely related to true multi-conscious thinking. But he also championed the rebirth of absurdism in Canadian theatre. Most of his plays are allegorical and satiric.

Among his other plays are: Cockcrow and the Gulls (1962), Wail for Two Pedestals (1965), O Holy Ghost DIP YOUR FINGER IN THE BLOOD OF CANADA AND WRITE, I love you (1967), and the number-grid performance poem Gramsci x 3 (1986).

Last updated 2007-09-07