Derek Walcott 
Saint Lucia
1930-
 
 
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Biography

Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, has had a strong influence on Walcott's life and work. Both his grandmothers were said to have been the descendants of slaves. His father, a Bohemian watercolourist, died when Derek and his twin brother, Roderick, were only a few years old. His mother ran the town's Methodist school. After studying at St. Mary's College in his native island and at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Walcott moved in 1953 to Trinidad, where he has worked as theatre and art critic. At the age of 18, he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night (1962). In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays. Walcott has been an assiduous traveller to other countries but has always, not least in his efforts to create an indigenous drama, felt himself deeply-rooted in Caribbean society with its cultural fusion of African, Asiatic and European elements. For many years, he has divided his time between Trinidad, where he has his home as a writer, and Boston University, where he teaches literature and creative writing.
 

Works

Verse

  • 25 Poems, Port-of-Spain: Guardian Commercial Printery, 1948
  • Epitaph for the Young, Xll Cantos, Bridgetown: Barbados Advocate, 1949
  • Poems, Kingston, Jamaica, City Printery, 1951
  • In a Green Night, Poems 1948 - 60, London: Cape, 1962
  • Selected Poems, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1964 
  • The Castaway and Other Poems, London: Cape, 1965
  • The Gulf and Other Poems, London: Cape, 1969
  • Another Life, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux: London: Cape, 1973
  • Sea Grapes, London: Cape; New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1976 
  • The Star-Apple Kingdom, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1979
  • Selected Poetry, Ed. by Wayne Brown. London: Heinemann, 1981
  • The Fortunate Traveller, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1981
  • The Caribbean Poetry of Derek Walcott, and the Art of Romare Bearden, New York: Limited Editions Club, 1983
  • Midsummer, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1984
  • Collected Poems 1948-1984, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1986 
  • The Arkansas Testament, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1987
  • Omeros, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1990
Drama
  • Harry Dernier, Bridgetown: Barbados Advocate, 1952
  • Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1970
  • The Joker of Seville & O Babylon!, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1978
  • Remembrance & Pantomine: Two Plays, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1980
  • Three Plays, New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1986


Critical Studies

  • The Art of Derek Walcott, Ed. by Stewart Brown, Bridgend: Seren Books, 1991
 
Links

Derek Walcott @ the Nobel e-Museum
http://www.nobel.se/literature/laureates/1992/walcott-cv.html

Books & Writers: Derek Walcott
http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/walcott.htm
 


Send questions or comments about the Web site to Dr. Seodial Deena
East Carolina University, Department of English, Multicultural Literature Program.