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Robert Winthrop Watson Edit Profile

scholar , architect of the Master of Fine Arts

Robert Winthrop Watson, American Poet, English language educator. Swiss-American exchange fellow, 1947; grantee National Endowment for Arts, 1973; recipient American Scholar Poetry prize, 1959, Literature award American Academy Institute Arts Letters, 1977.


Watson, Robert Winthrop was born on December 26, 1925 in Passaic, New Jersey, United States. Son of Winthrop and Laura Berdan (Trimble) Watson.


Bachelor, Williams College, 1946. Postgraduate, University Zurich, 1947. Master of Arts, Johns Hopkins, 1950.

Doctor of Philosophy in English, Johns Hopkins, 1955.


He was the main architect of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at UNCG. The program is considered one of the best in the nation. In 1966, Watson and graduate writing student Lawrence Judson Reynolds began the Greensboro Review, a respected literary journal that has since earned a national reputation.


  • Some of Watson’s awards and honors include: the American Scholar Poetry Prize (1959), a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship (1974-1975), and the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award (1977).



From 1953 to his retirement in 1987, he served as a member of the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.


Married Elizabeth Ann Rean, January 12, 1952. Children: Winthrop, Caroline.

Winthrop Watson

Laura Berdan (Trimble) Watson

Elizabeth Ann Rean

Winthrop Watson

Caroline Watson