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Encyclopedia > Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott
Born January 23, 1930 (1930-01-23) (age 78)
Castries, Saint Lucia
Occupation Poet, Playwright
Notable award(s) Nobel Prize in Literature

Derek Alton Walcott (born January 23, 1930) is a West Indies poet, playwright, writer and visual artist who writes mainly in English. Born in Castries, St. Lucia, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the town in France, see Castries, Hérault. ... This article is about work. ... A poet is a person who writes poetry. ... A playwright, also known as a dramatist, is a person who writes dramatic literature or drama. ... René-François-Armand Prudhomme (1839–1907), a French poet and essayist, was the first person to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1901, in special recognition of his poetic composition, which gives evidence of lofty idealism, artistic perfection and a rare combination of the qualities of both heart... is the 23rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display 1930 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Caribbean or the West Indies is a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... For the town in France, see Castries, Hérault. ... This article is about the country in the Caribbean; for the Catholic saint, see Saint Lucy Saint Lucia is an island nation in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. ... The Nobel Prize in literature is awarded annually to an author from any country who has produced the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency. The work in this case generally refers to an authors work as a whole, not to any individual work, though individual works are sometimes... Year 1992 (MCMXCII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar). ...

His work, which developed independently of the schools of magic realism emerging in both South America and Europe at around the time of his birth, is intensely related to the symbolism of myth and its relationship to culture. He is best known for his epic poem Omeros, a reworking of Homeric story and tradition into a journey around the Caribbean and beyond to the American West and London. Magic realism (or magical realism) is an artistic genre in which magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even normal setting. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Culture (disambiguation). ... Omeros is a 1990 book of poetry by Derek Walcott. ... This article is about the Greek poet Homer and the works attributed to him. ... West Indies redirects here. ...

Walcott founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959, which has produced his plays (and others) since that time, and remains active with its Board of Directors. He also founded Boston Playwrights' Theatre at Boston University in 1981 with the hope of creating a home for new plays in Boston, Massachusetts. Walcott continues to teach poetry and drama in the Creative Writing Department at Boston University and gives readings and lectures throughout the world. He divides his time between his home in the Caribbean and New York City. Trinidad Theatre Workshop was founded by 1992 Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in 1959. ... Boston Playwrights Theatre Founded in 1981 by poet, playwright and Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott, Boston Playwrights Theatre is an award-winning small professional theatre dedicated to promoting the writing and production of new plays in Boston, Massachusetts. ... For the similarly named institution in Chestnut Hill, see Boston College. ... Boston redirects here. ... For the similarly named institution in Chestnut Hill, see Boston College. ...


Walcott as playwright and theorist

Walcott has published more than twenty plays. The majority of these plays have been produced by the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, and have also been widely staged elsewhere. Many of them deal, either directly or indirectly, with the liminal status of the West Indies in the postcolonial period. Epistemological, ontological, economical, political, and social themes make regular appearances in Walcott's plays. Trinidad Theatre Workshop was founded by 1992 Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in 1959. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, knowledge + λόγος, logos) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ... This article is about ontology in philosophy. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... For other uses, see Politics (disambiguation). ... Social refers to human society or its organization. ...

In his 1940 essay on art (and specifically theatre) in his native region, What the Twilight Says: An Overture (published in Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays; see bibliography), Walcott bemoans the lasting effects of over 400 years of colonial rule. He reflects on the West Indies as colonized space, and the problems presented by a region with little in the way of truly indigenous forms, and with little national or nationalist identity. He states: “...we are all strangers here (10). [...] Our bodies think in one language and move in another...”(31). In this manner, Walcott shifts his poetic language between formal English and patois to highlight the linguistic dexterity of the Caribbean people. While recognising the profound psychological and material wrongs of the colonial project, Walcott simultaneously celebrates the hybridisation of Antillean cultures. His epic poem Omeros exposes the complex cultural strains that converge in his native St. Lucia, celebrating at once the European, Amerindian, and African heritage shared by the islanders. Year 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full 1940 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Patois, although without a formal definition in linguistics, can be used to describe a language considered as nonstandard. ...

Discussions of epistemological effects of colonization inform plays such as Ti-Jean and his Brothers and Pantomime. One of the eponymous brothers in Ti-Jean and his Brothers (Mi-Jean) is shown to have much information, but to truly know nothing. Every line Mi-Jean recites is rote knowledge gained from the coloniser, and as such is unable to be synthesized and thus is inapplicable to his existence as colonised person.

Walcott probes the colonial dialectic in his two-hander Pantomime. In the play, Walcott revisions the story of Robinson Crusoe / Man Friday in an effort to destabilize the colonial power constructs. Reversing the roles of master / servant, Walcott temporarily lends to Trinidadian Jackson, a guest house factotum and calypso singer, the role of Crusoe, with Harry, a British ex-patriate and owner, the identity of “Thursday,” thus resetting Daniel Defoe's legend in pre-colonial days. Recalling his fascination with the Edenic concept on naming ("Muse" 3-5), Walcott highlights the problem that faces the Caribbean writer by having Jackson re-appropriate the material objects around him, re-christening them in a pseudo-African language, calling the table “patamba,” the chair “banda,” etc, recalling the poesía negra's use of jitanjáfora (jitanjáfora is a term for the use of onomatopoeia in Spanish) mentioned earlier. The scene at first reflects Jackson’s agency: he has the ability to resurrect the language of his ancestors and regain ownership of the material of his island, teaching his minion Harry, the Anglo Thursday, his new tongue and establishing authority over his surroundings. The impossibility of his mission surfaces, however, as Jackson immediately forgets the words he had just spoken: Harry: You never called anything by the same name twice. For other uses, see Robinson Crusoe (disambiguation). ... Man Friday is one of the main characters of Daniel Defoes novel Robinson Crusoe. ... Daniel Defoe (1659/1661 [?] â€“ April 24 [?], 1731)[1] was a British writer, journalist, and spy, who gained enduring fame for his novel Robinson Crusoe. ... For the supervillain, see Onomatopoeia (comics). ...

Jackson's inability to resurrect a dead language reflects the Caribbean's lack of a single, discernible cultural history; Harry's retort reveals the violence inherent in the linguistic indoctrination of the colonial powers: language through the barrel of a gun. Walcott writes in English, the language of Trinidad, but he also makes full use of the local dialects, or what Barbadian writer Edward Kamau Brathwaite calls “nation language,” and portrays Jackson as code-switching throughout the play to reveal his culture’s linguistic dexterity. (Lawson) Edward Kamau Brathwaite (born in Bridgetown, Barbados) on May 11, 1930 is a Barbadian writer, poet and dramatist. ...

Walcott's plays weave together a variety of forms; including those of the folktale, morality play, allegory, fable, ritual and myth; as well as using emblematic and mythological characters to address issues in non-realistic ways. Folklore is the ethnographic concept of the tales, legends, or superstitions current among a particular ethnic population, a part of the oral history of a particular culture. ... Morality plays are a type of theatrical allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of various moral attributes who try to prompt him to choose a godly life over one of evil. ... Allegory of Music by Filippino Lippi. ... For other uses, see Fable (disambiguation). ... For other senses of this word, see ritual (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ...


Poetry collections

  • 1948 25 Poems
  • 1949 Epitaph for the Young: Xll Cantos
  • 1951 Poems
  • 1962 In a Green Night: Poems 1948—60
  • 1964 Selected Poems
  • 1965 The Castaway and Other Poems
  • 1969 The Gulf and Other Poems
  • 1973 Another Life
  • 1976 Sea Grapes
  • 1979 The Star-Apple Kingdom
  • 1981 Selected Poetry
  • 1981 The Fortunate Traveller
  • 1983 The Caribbean Poetry of Derek Walcott and the Art of Romare Bearden
  • 1984 Midsummer
  • 1986 Collected Poems, 1948-1984
  • 1987 The Arkansas Testament
  • 1990 Omeros
  • 1997 The Bounty
  • 2000 Tiepolo's Hound
  • 2004 The Prodigal
  • 2007 Selected Poems (Edited, selected, and with an introduction by Edward Baugh)

// Sometime this year, Jack Kerouac introduced the phrase Beat Generation to describe his friends and as a general term describing the underground, anti-conformist youth gathering in New York at that time to the novelist John Clellon Holmes September — The body of William Butler Yeats who died in Menton, France... // Carlos de Oliveira - Descida aos Infernos Judith Wright, Woman to Man Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), By Avon River Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress (later the post would be called Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress): Elizabeth Bishop appointed this year. ... // Bad Lord Byron, a film directed by David Macdonald about the Romantic poet W.H. Auden, Nones Charles Causley, Farewell Aggie Weston Hugh Kenner, The Poetry of Ezra Pound, highly influential in causing a re-assessment of Pounds poetry Robert Lowell, The Mills of the Kavanaughs Peter Mason Opie... // Eric Gregory Award: Donald Thomas, James Simmons, Brian Johnson (poet, Jenny Joseph Queens Gold Medal for Poetry: Christopher Fry National Book Award for Poetry: Alan Dugan, Poems Pulitzer Prize for Poetry: Alan Dugan: Poems Poetry List of poetry awards Categories: | ... // Sir John Betjeman, Ring of Bells Leonard Cohen, Flowers for Hitler, including The Only Tourist in Havana Turns his Thoughts Homeward Philip Larkin, The Whitsun Weddings. ... // Meic Stephens founds Poetry Wales Russian poet Anna Akhmatova was allowed to travel outside the Soviet Union to Sicily and England in order to receive the Taormina prize and an honorary doctoral degree from Oxford University Randall Jarrell, Little Friend, Little Friend Seamus Heaney, Death of a Naturalist Philip Larkin... // FIELD Magazine founded Charles Bukowski quits his day job as a Post Office clerk in Los Angeles to embark on a writing career after being promised a $100 stipend from Black Sparrow Press. ... // Adrienne Rich, Rape Derek Walcott, Another Life See 1973 Governor Generals Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists for those awards. ... // Two poems written in 1965 by Mao Zedong just before the Cultural Revolution, including Two Birds: A Dialogue, are published on January 1[1] Elizabeth Bishop, One Act Marya Fiamengo, In Praise of Older Women Thom Gunn, Jack Straws Castle Derek Walcott, Sea Grapes James Merrill: Divine Comedies, including... // Kingsley Amis - Collected Poems Ted Hughes - Moor Town Craig Raine - A Martian Sends a Postcard Home See 1979 Governor Generals Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists for those awards. ... // Final issue of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Magazine published. ... // Final issue of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Magazine published. ... // Maya Angelou, Shaker, Why Dont You Sing? Elizabeth Bishop, Collected Poems 1927-1979 (posthumous) Amy Clampitt, Kingfisher Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), Collected Poems, 1912–1944 (posthumous) Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry: Vivian Smith, Tide Country See 1983 Governor Generals Awards for a complete list of winners and finalists... // December 19 - Philip Larkin turns down the British Poet Laureateship, and Ted Hughes becomes Poet Laureate. ... // March 4 - President Ronald Reagan publicly recites from memory lines from Robert Services The Cremation of Sam McGee Wendy Cope, Making Cocoa for Kingsley Amis a best-seller December 18 Pforzheimer Collection of the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley and his circle donated to the New York Public Library... // Charles Bukowski, fictionalised as alter ego Henry Chinaski, becomes the subject of the film Barfly starring Mickey Rourke. ... // Allen Ginsberg crowned Majelis King in Prague on May Day Maya Angelou, I Shall Not be Moved Derek Walcott, Omeros C. J. Dennis Prize for Poetry: Robert Adamson, The Clean Dark Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry: Robert Adamson, The Clean Dark Mary Gilmore Prize: Kristopher Rassemussen - In the Name of... Omeros is a 1990 book of poetry by Derek Walcott. ... // January 20 — Miller Williams of Arkansas reads his poem, Of History and Hope, at President Clintons inauguration. ... // Griffin Poetry Prize is established, with one award given each year for the best work by a Canadian poet and one award given for best work in the English language internationally. ... // Rita Dove, American Smooth: Poems (Norton); named a notable book of the year by The New York Times Book Review Donald Justice, Collected Poems (Knopf); published posthumously; named a notable book of the year by The New York Times Book Review Michael Ryan, New And Selected Poems Derek Walcott, The... // Southword Editions in 2006 was preparing to start an annual anthology of Irish poetry, The Best of Irish Poetry 2007 to be the first volume. ... Edward Baugh (born 10 January 1936) is a Jamaican poet and scholar, recognised as an authority on the work of Derek Walcott. ...


  • (1950) Henri Christophe: A Chronicle in Seven Scenes
  • (1951) Harry Dernier: A Play for Radio Production
  • (1953) Wine of the Country
  • (1954) The Sea at Dauphin: A Play in One Act
  • (1957) Ione
  • (1958) Drums and Colours: An Epic Drama
  • (1958) Ti-Jean and His Brothers
  • (1966) Malcochon: or, Six in the Rain
  • (1967) Dream on Monkey Mountain
  • (1970) In a Fine Castle
  • (1974) The Joker of Seville
  • (1974) The Charlatan
  • (1976) O Babylon!
  • (1977) Remembrance
  • (1978) Pantomime
  • (1980) The Joker of Seville and O Babylon!: Two Plays
  • (1982) The Isle Is Full of Noises
  • (1986) Three Plays (The Last Carnival, Beef, No Chicken, and A Branch of the Blue Nile)
  • (1991) Steel
  • (1993) Odyssey: A Stage Version
  • (1997) The Capeman (lyrics, in collaboration with Paul Simon)

The Capeman is a musical play written by Paul Simon and Derek Walcott based on the life of Salvador Agron. ... Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, half of the folk-singing duo Simon and Garfunkel who continues a successful solo career. ...

Further reading

  • Baer, William, ed. Conversations with Derek Walcott. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1996.
  • Baugh, Edward, Derek Walcott: Memory as Vision: Another Life. London: Longman, 1978.
  • Baugh, Edward, Derek Walcott. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2006.
  • Breslin, Paul. Nobody's Nation: Reading Derek Walcott. Chicago: U. Chicago, 2001. ISBN 0-226-07426-9
  • Brown, Stewart, ed., The Art of Derek Walcott. Chester Springs, PA.: Dufour, 1991; Bridgend: Seren Books, 1992.
  • Burnett, Paula, Derek Walcott: Politics and Poetics. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2001.
  • Hamner, Robert D., Ed. Critical Perspectives on Derek Walcott. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents, 1993. ISBN 0-89410-142-0
  • Hamner, Robert D. Derek Walcott. Updated Edition. Twayne's World Authors Series. TWAS 600. New York: Twayne, 1993.
  • Heaney, Seamus, ‘The Murmur of Malvern’, in The Government of the Tongue: The 1986 T. S. Eliot Memorial Lectures and Other Critical Writings. London: Faber and Faber, 1988, pp. 23-29.
  • King, Bruce, Derek Walcott and West Indian Drama: ‘Not Only a Playwright But a Company’: The Trinidad Theatre Workshop 1959-1993. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.
  • King, Bruce, Derek Walcott, A Caribbean Life. Oxford: OUP, 2000.
  • Lennard, John, 'Derek Walcott' in Jay Parini, ed., World Writers in English. 2 vols, New York & London: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2004, II.721–46.
  • Parker, Michael and Roger Starkey, Eds. New Casebooks: Postcolonial Literatures: Achebe, Ngugi, Desai, Walcott. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Macmillan, 1995. ISBN 0-333-60801-1
  • Sinnewe, Dirk, Divided to the Vein? Derek Walcott’s Drama and the Formation of Cultural Identities. Saarbrücken: Königshausen und Neumann, 2001 [Reihe Saarbrücker Beiträge 17]. ISBN 3-8260-2073-1
  • Terada, Rei, Derek Walcott’s Poetry: American Mimicry. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1992.
  • Thieme, John, Derek Walcott. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1999.
  • Walcott, Derek. Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays. New York: Farrar, 1970. ISBN 0-374-50860-7

John Lennard is Professor of British and American Literature at the University of the West Indies, Mona, and a freelance academic and writer. ...

External links

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  Results from FactBites:
Derek Walcott (1170 words)
Walcott has studied the conflict between the heritage of European and West Indian culture, the long way from slavery to independence, and his own role as a nomad between cultures.
Derek Walcott was born at Castries, St Lucia, an isolated Caribbean island in the West Indies.
Walcott himself is a native English speaker and bilingual in also speaking Creole, the language of the rural areas.
derek walcott, derek walcott poems, derek walcott biography, derek walcott midsummer, derek walcott poetry - Welcome to ... (1173 words)
Derek Alton Walcott was born in Casties, St. Lucia, British West Indies, on January 23, 1930 to Warwick and Alix Walcott who were of mixed African, Dutch, and English descent.
Walcott was already becoming known as poet, many of his poems being published in the Voice of St. Lucia (1946-1948).
Walcott was married to dancer Norline Metivier and had three children by previous marriages.
  More results at FactBites »



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