Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Tessa McWatt

Tessa McWatt

Tessa McWatt is the author of six novels and two books for young people. Her fiction has been nominated for the Governor General’s Award, the City of Toronto Book Awards, and the OCM Bocas Prize.

She is the co-editor, along with Dionne Brand and Rabindranath Maharaj, of Luminous Ink: Writers on Writing in Canada. Her first picture book for children, Where Are You Agnes?, is based on the life of abstract expressionist painter Agnes Martin. She is one of the winners of the Eccles British Library Award 2018, for her memoir: Shame on Me: An Anatomy of Race and Belonging, which also won the Bocas Prize for Non-Fiction 2020.
< br>
She is also a librettist, most recently working with British composer Hannah Kendall. Their chamber opera, The Knife of Dawn, premiered at the Roundhouse, London, in 2016, and they are working on a new full-length opera. McWatt is also in the process of bringing John Berger’s novel To the Wedding, to the screen, with award winning film director Andrea Pallaoro.

Tessa McWatt is a Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and is on the Board of Trustees at Wasafiri. She lives in London.

Writers Festival Appearances