David Watmough

David Watmough was born in Essex, England, and grew up in Cornwall, where his family had farmed for centuries. In 1945 he was imprisoned in a jail in Portsmouth [for homosexuality] when in the navy during World War II. A prison chaplain helped him get into university after he was released from jail; he attended King's College at the University of London, majoring in theology.When he was 21 he left university to live in Paris, where he wrote his first book, A Church Renascent, and met his longtime partner, ex-Californian Floyd St. Clair.Watmough worked as a freelance writer for the BBC in England, then freelanced for the New York Times before landing a job at the San Francisco Examiner. He worked there for two or three years, while St. Clair was finishing his PhD. Watmough gained his Canadian citizenship in 1963. After a stint with the CBC, he was hired by The Vancouver Sun newspaper to write about drama and art. He left The Sun and newspaper criticism in the mid-1960s when he received a Canada Council grant to write a play. He began writing “monodramas”, which he performed onstage; this led to work in Britain, Canada, the U.S. and West Germany.Richard Olafson of Ekstasis Editions received a Talonbooks copy of Watmough’s monodramas when Olafson moved to B.C. He is still Watmough’s publisher, three decades later.Watmough lived in Vancouver for 40 years with St. Clair, a University of British Columbia French professor and opera critic, until St. Clair's death in 2009. The couple became well-known fixtures among Vancouver's "literati", throwing countless legendary dinner parties for Vancouver’s writers and artists.He published his autobiography, Myself Through Others: Memoirs in 2008. A few days before his birthday in August 2011, he received a copy of his new novel, To Each An Albatross. It’s his 21st book, and the fifth he’s published in the last five years. He now lives in Tsawwassen, just outside Vancouver, with his dog Gerry.


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