Mark Mcwatt was born in Georgetown, Guyana on 29th September, 1947, he studied literature at the universities of Toronto and Leeds, and received a Ph.D in 1975. From 1976 until retirement in 2007 he taught Literatures in English at the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indies, where he is currently Emeritus Professor of West Indian Literature.
He has published numerous scholarly articles on West Indian Literature, especially Guyanese Literature and is founding editor of the Journal of West Indian literature. He continues to serve as joint editor of POUI, the Cave Hill Journal of Creative Writing. He has published three collections of poetry: Interiors (Dangaroo Press,1989), The Language of Eldorado (Dangaroo press,1994) which won the Guyana Prize for Poetry in 1994 and The Journey to Le Repentir (Peepal Tree Press, 2009), which also won the Guyana Prize for Poetry for that year. He has published as well a collection of short stories, Suspended Sentences (Peepal Tree Press, 2005), which won three international literary prizes, including the 2006 Commonwealth Writers’ prize for the best first book of fiction and the Casa de Las Americas prize (2006).In addition he is joint editor (with Stewart Brown)of The Oxford Book of Caribbean Verse (OUP, 2005).
He has served as Chief Examiner for the CXC English B syllabus (Literature) and for the CAPE Literatures in English syllabus. He has been a judge for the Commonwealth Writers' prize, the Guyana Prize for Literature, the Frank Collymore Literary Prize in Barbados, the Casa de Las Americas prize in Cuba and the Bocas Prize in Trinidad. Mark McWatt is married, with two adult children..