Molly Lynn Watt is a poet, activist, and educator who worked at The Highlander Center in Tennessee in 1963. Her most recent book, On Wings of Song—A Journey into the Civil Rights Era, Ibbetson Street 2014, is a memoir in poems of her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement with her husband and two young daughters. The family supervises a workcamp building a voter registration training facility in the Smokey Mountains with 15 black activists from Birmingham and 15 white volunteers from the north. In the middle of the night the group are taken at gun point to the Maryville Jail, including her daughters ages 1 and 3. This is a personal story of where the personal meets the political in America, a story of courage and shame. The books starts during the World War II and concludes in 2014.
Watt co-authored with her husband Daniel Lynn Watt, and performs in George and Ruth — Songs and Letters of the Spanish Civil War, available on CD from Amazon. She published a limited edition chapbook of a persona poem, Consider This with an incest theme, commissioned and choreographed by Joan Green for an Across the Ages Dance Concert. Her poem Civil Rights Update is paired with Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech as required reading in Dallas Public Schools. A prior book of poems, Shadow People, Ibbetson Street Press in 2007. She is primarily a witness poet leading the poet's life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, giving readings, leading workshops, doing guest appearances in schools, publishing and hanging out with The Bagel Bards for whom she edited their first four Bagel Bard anthologies.
Publications and Prizes
On Wings of Song: A Journey into the Civil Rights Era (Ibbetson Street Press, 2014), Shadow People (Ibbetson Street Press, 2007)
Cresset, Distillery, Friends Journal, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Pig Iron Press, South Carolina Review
Recipient of the University of Rhode Island Multicultural Award for "Distinguished Humanitarian Service during Freedom Summer" in September 2014
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Listing last updated: February 6, 2015