Kathryn "Kitsi" Watterson is the author of nine books -- three of which are New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Those three include "Women in Prison: Inside the Concrete Womb," -- which led to an ABC “Close Up” documentary, the founding of prisoner support organizations across the country, and an ongoing scholarly study -- "Not by the Sword," --a creative nonfiction which won a 1996 Christopher Award and inspired a play and opera-- and "You Must Be Dreaming" -- which exposes a world-famous psychiatrist who systemically drugged and sexually assaulted his patients. "You Must Be Dreaming" inspired the NBC movie, “Betrayal of Trust.” Watterson’s short stories and essays have appeared in TriQuarterly, Writers’ Forum, Northeast Corridor, Santa Monica Review, and Fourth Genre, and her articles in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and The International Herald Tribune.
Her newest book, "I Hear My People Singing: Voices of African-American Princeton", was published by Princeton University Press with a foreword by Cornell West. According to Nell Irvin Painter, this book "recasts American history as a whole by presenting in their own words the full lives of black Princetonians, lives forged within the utterly everyday Americanness of enslavement, segregation, and insult." Their words, excerpted from fifty-five interviews, provide a living account that intimately connects the residents of the Witherspoon-Jackson community to the lives lived by their enslaved grandparents, great-grandparents and great-greats before them. Their stories shine light into the inner spirit of a people, who for the past three and a half centuries, against the constant tyranny of discrimination, actively worked to bring down the barriers erected to bar their progress.
As a teacher at University of Pennsylvania, Kitsi Watterson has hosted events at Kelly Writers’ House that include “Reckoning with Torture” -- a film project of PEN and the ACLU -- and “One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change.” She sings and drums with TheUnity -- a popular improvisational music trio. She currently is at work on a novel set in Philadelphia and a short story collection.