David Watters has worked as a professor of English, teaching American literature, New England studies, and New Hampshire literature and culture at the University of New Hampshire since 1978. His wife, Jan Alberghene, is also an English professor who works at Fitchburg State University. Their son, Harper, is a Corps member at Houston Ballet.
Raised in West Hartford, Connecticut and educated at Dartmouth College and Brown University, David’s commitment to public service was inspired by his father, who was a Veteran’s Administration doctor for fifty years, and by his mother, who, after recuperating from polio, worked for Easter Seals to promote its sheltered workshop in Hartford. Moving to Dover from Newmarket in 1984, David began community service by tutoring at the Dover Adult Learning Center, served as a Ward 1 selectman, and worked on Democratic campaigns. He served a term as chair of the Strafford County Democratic Committee and many terms on the Democratic State Committee.
At the University of New Hampshire, David teaches courses on New Hampshire and New England literature, history, and culture. He coedited The Encyclopedia of New England and has written books and essays on literature and about New England’s old gravestones. He has served on the executive committee of the UNH faculty union. David is frequently heard on New Hampshire Public Radio as consultant for Granite State Stories and the Immigration Project. Deeply concerned about preserving our history, culture, arts, and environment, David served eight years as a trustee of the New Hampshire Historical Society, and on the board of directors for the New Hampshire Humanities, the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail, Pontine Movement Theatre, Strawbery Banke Museum’s Center for the Study of Community, and the Robert Frost Farm. He has visited hundreds of local libraries and historical societies to give talks.
David enjoys getting outdoors to run and ski, or going down cellar to his shop to do woodworking, especially making Shaker oval boxes. David and Jan go to Houston whenever they can to see Harper dance.