by George J. Dance


Bob in his favorite chair. Dec 2011. Photo by "Philo"

Bob Watt (1925 - January 2, 2012) was an American poet and artist.[1]


Watt was born in rural Wisconsin, one of 9 children. He was drafted in World War II and stationed after the war in Japan. In 1951, he came to Milwaukee and established himself as a counterculture poet. [1]

For a time he was writer in residence at the University of Milwaukee.[1]

In 1993 his house burned down, destroying 25 years' worth of poetry, art, collages, and vintage Playboy magazines. [2] Over 900 paintings were burned, in what the fire department described as the biggest house fire they'd seen.[3]

In recent years, much of his 'art' consisted of hiring female models, photographing them posing nude with his paintings, and making books of collages of the photographs.[2]

In 2000 he ran for mayor of Milwaukee, kicking off his campaign in front of the Hooters on Wisconsin Avenue.[2] He advocated opening nude beaches on Milwaukee's lakefront, and converting its jails into art and music schools.[4]

In 2008 he inspired a controversy in the Milwaukee art scene over his regular appearances at a local Christmas art show, dressed as Santa Claus and being photographed with nude female models..[5]


"“We need more ordinary Indians, some untalented people functioning. I feel I might be able to talk for the dull, the backward, the non-dandy, in short the bad poet. I ask equal time on your podium that you have now reserved for your favorite big stars.”[1]



  • The Gentle Rape of the Mind. Madison, WI: Quixote Press, [1968?]
  • Inferior Poetry. New Erections Press, 1970.[6]
  • The Ten Bulls of Zen Made Easy. Madison, WI: J. Reilly, 1970.
  • The Selling of Wild Women by Cats in Love: A Zen master's handbook. Madison, WI: Druid Books, 1971.[7]
  • Woman Poem. Madison, WI: Madison Book Co-op, 1971.
  • Watt's Happening. Quixote Press, 1972.[8]
  • The Insults Women II; or, How to throw down studs in America. Madison, WI: Druid Books, 1973.


  • Brewing: 20 Milwaukee poets. 1972.[1]

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy WorldCat.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Matt Wild, "R.I.P. Bob Watt", A.V. Club Milwaukee,, Web, Jan. 8, 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 John Shimon and Julie Lindemann, "Bob Watt with telephone,", Web, Jan. 8 2012.
  3. Autumnatik, "Bob Watt," Outsiders and Intuits, blogspot, Web, Jan. 9, 2012.
  4. Tom Tolan, "Art scene just a bit dimmer without Watt", Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, January 8, 2012. JSOnline, Web, Feb. 23, 2013.
  5. Mary Louise Schumacher, "Pegi vs. Jimmy Round I," Art City, JSOnline/Tap, Web, Jan. 8, 2012.
  6. Inferior Poetry Paperback - 1970, Web, Apr. 15, 2015.
  7. The Selling of Wild Women by Cats in Love: A Zen Master's Handbook, Antiques.Gift. Web, Apr. 15, 2015.
  8. Watt's Happening Paperback - 1972 Web, Apr. 15, 2015.
  9. Search results = au:Bob Watt, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Apr. 15, 2015.

External linksEdit

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