Lew Watts was born and raised in Splott, an onomatopoeic district of Cardiff, Wales. After working in the energy industry in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East, and Africa, he moved to the US in 2002. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Roxanne Decyk.

lew watts

Lew's long-form poetry has been published widely in journals in Europe and the US, and his his first poetry collection, Lessons for Tangueros, appeared in 2011. A poetry-themed novel, Marcel Malone, was released in 2016.


Since 2010, his poetry has increasingly focused on Japanese short-forms. His haiku, haibun, and rengay have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including Acorn, Contemporary Haibun Online, Frogpond, Haibun Today, Kingfisher, Modern Haiku, The Heron's Nest, Presence and many others. In 2019 he joined the global community of New Resonance haiku poets. His Haibun collection, Tick-Tock, appeared in 2019 after winning the Snapshot Press eBook award, and a haiku/haibun collection, Circannual, is forthcoming from the same press.

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Lew has a PhD in geology from The University of Reading, and an honorary doctorate (Science) from Bristol University, both in the UK. He has fly-fished since 7 years of age and, beyond family, his greatest love is spey casting for Atlantic salmon with his 15' 3" Thomas & Thomas 11-weight. He is still a Splott-Boy.