Derek Walcott

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The Hon. Derek Alton Walcott, OCC (born January 23, 1930) is a Caribbean poet, playwright, writer and visual artist [1] who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. His most well known work includes the Homeric epic Omeros (1990) and the short poem "Love after love". [2] Robert Graves wrote that Walcott "handles English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most, if not any, of his contemporaries”.[3] His collection White egrets was shortlisted for the British T. S. Eliot poetry award 2010.


Life and career

Walcott was born in Castries, Saint Lucia, in the West Indies. As a young man he trained as a painter and then as a writer, much influenced by modernist poets T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. [2] Walcott published his first poem at 14 and by 19 had self-published his two first collections, 25 Poems (1948) and Epitaph for the Young: XII Cantos (1949), which he distributed himself. [4] With a scholarship he studied at the University of the West Indies, in Kingston, Jamaica [5] then moving to Trinidad in 1953, becoming a critic, a teacher and then a journalist. [5] Walcott founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959 and remains active with its Board of Directors. [4] Exploring the Caribbean and its history in a colonialist and post-colonialist context, his collection In a Green Night: Poems 1948-1960 (1962) saw him gain an international public profile. [2]He founded Boston Playwrights' Theatre at Boston University in 1981 in Boston, Massachusetts. Walcott taught literature and writing at Boston University, retiring in 2007. Later collections include Tiepolo’s Hound (2000),[6]The Prodigal (2004) and White Egrets (2010), short listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize, the highest British poetry award. [2] [5]

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