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rip -- poet Derek Walcott Pulitzer Prize Winner

Walcott is often considered a “political” poet, and in certain respects he was. But he was more than that. He was, finally, writing about love — for place and people and the sacred. “The fate of poetry,” he wrote, “is to fall in love with the world.”


Derek Walcott, Poet and Nobel Laureate of the Caribbean, Dies at 87
Derek Walcott, whose intricately metaphorical poetry captured the physical beauty of the Caribbean, the harsh legacy of colonialism and the complexities of living and writing in two cultural worlds, bringing him a Nobel Prize in Literature, died early Friday morning at his home near Gros Islet in St. Lucia. He was 87. His death was confirmed by his publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. No cause was given, but he had been in poor health for some time, the publisher said. Mr. Walcott's expansive universe revolved around a tiny sun, the island of St. Lucia.


Derek Walcott Boston University
Creative Writing Department

Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in Saint Lucia, Windward Islands, West Indies. He graduated from the University College of the West Indies and was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship to study American drama in 1957. Presently, he divides his time between Trinidad and Boston and teaches Drama and Poetry in the English Department at Boston University.

Mr. Walcott founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959 as the Little Carib Theatre Workshop. It grew from a group of actors doing improvisations and scenes to an important repertory company presenting his plays as well as those of other Caribbean and international playwrights. He founded the Boston Playwrights' Theatre shortly after he accepted a professorship at Boston University which presents original works by local, national, and international playwrights. Mr. Walcott has organized an exchange program between his Boston Playwrights' Theatre and the Trinidad Theatre Workshop.

His plays have been produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Negro Ensemble Company, the American Repertory Theatre, the Guthrie Theatre, among others. His stage adaptation of Homer's Odyssey was staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1993 before sold out London audiences.

His achievements are many, including numerous awards for his verse as well as his drama. In 1969, Mr. Walcott received an O'Neill Foundation-Wesleyan University Fellowship for playwrights. In 1971, Dream on Monkey Mountain received an Obie for the most distinguished foreign play. He was awarded the Guggenheim award in 1977, the American Poetry Review award in 1979, the Welsh Arts International Writer's Prize in 1980, the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988, and the W.H. Smith Prize in 1991. He was awarded a five year Mac Arthur Fellowship in 1981. In 1992, Mr. Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Recent work includes a volume of poems called The Bounty and a collaboration with Paul Simon on a musical named The Capeman.

Professor Education:
St. Mary's College, St. Lucia; University College of the West Indies

Teaching and Research Interests:
Poetry and drama writing.

Selected Publications:

The Bounty. (1997); The Odyssey stage adaptation (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1993); Omeros; The Arkansas Testament; Collected Poems; Midsummer; The Fortunate Traveller; Remembrance and Pantomime; The Star Apple Kingdom; Sea Grapes; Another Life; Dream on Monkey Mountain & Other Plays; The Gulf; The Castaway and Other Poems; In a Green Night; Epitaph of the Young; 25 Poems

Honors, Grants, and Awards:
Nobel Prize for Literature (1992); MacArthur Fellow

Derek Alton Wolcott
West Indian poet and playwright is the first black to receive the $1.2 million Nobel Prize for Literature 1992.
He won for poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment. Born Jan. 23, 1930, Castries, Saint Lucia , one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. Walcott is of mixed black, Dutch, and English descent. He currently is a professor in Boston University's English Department.
Residence: Trinidad and Boston


Nobel Lecture
Curriculum Vitae
Hear him Speak


Creolizing Homer for the Stage: Walcott's "The Odyssey"
Robert D. Hamner
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 47, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), pp. 374-390

BPJ Author Index "W" -- 1950-2005
... Walcott, Derek Rivers, 13 (Summer 1963), 1. Selected Poems, rev. Robert H. Glauber, 16 (Spring 1966), 51. The Arkansas Testament, rev. Marion K. Stocking, 40 (Spring 1990), 39. Omeros, rev. Marion K ...
Las Vegas Mercury: Books: The Prodigal by Derek Walcott
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The Prodigal By Derek Walcott 105 pages Farrar, Strauss and Giroux Grade: A Thursday ...
The Richmond Review, Book Review, Tiepolo's Hound by Derek Walcott reviewed ...
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Derek Walcott - The Academy of American Poets

Derek Walcott
Derek (Alton) Walcott (1930-) The major West Indian poet and dramatist writing ...
... Derek Walcott has lived most of his life in Trinidad. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature ...
Derek Walcott Pulitzer Prize Winner
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Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott Blues Midsummer, Tobago Codicil A City's Death by Fire Derek Walcott speaks biography/bibliography
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Lannan Foundation - Derek Walcott with Glyn Maxwell, November 20, 2002
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Walcott Lannan Readings & Conversations Derek Walcott with Glyn Maxwell Wednesday November 20 2002 ...
Derek Walcott - Biography
Derek Walcott Biography Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in ...
New York State Writers Institute - Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott Channel 17 Sunday at 2:00 p.m. September 17, 2000 Photo Credit: Nancy Crampton Derek Walcott,
poet and playwright, was the winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature. He was born in ...