The trinidad Guardian / Tributes have been pouring in from around the world following the death of Sir Derek Walcott.
The acclaimed poet, playwright and painter, who won the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature for his depiction of Caribbean life and culture in the epic poem Omeros, died at his home at Cap Estate, St Lucia, at around 7.30 am yesterday.
His death was confirmed in a statement from his family.
Walcott, 87, had been suffering with kidney disease for some time and had recently been released from hospital.
St Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said flags throughout the island will be lowered to half-staff to honour Walcott, one of the most renowned figures to emerge from that country.
“It is a great loss to Saint Lucia. It is a great loss to the world,” he said.
In a statement yesterday, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley also extended condolences to the family.
“Walcott was a prolific writer whose creative works were strongly influenced by Caribbean culture and who also sought to share the West Indian experience with the world. I am deeply saddened by his passing but I am certain that his work, teachings and scholarship will continue to influence a new generation of theatre professionals, writers and poets. He will be missed. May he rest in peace,” Rowley said.
Born on January 23, 1930, in Castries, into a family of mixed descent, he was the son of Warwick Walcott, a civil servant and Alix Walcott, a teacher at the local Methodist school. He was educated at St Mary’s College and the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Walcott self-published his first collection, 24 Poems, at the age of 18. However, his breakthrough in the literary world came several years later in 1962 with publication of In a Green Night.
After completing university in the mid-1950s, Walcott taught at St Mary’s College in his native St Lucia for a year before moving to Trinidad. He worked with the Trinidad Guardian as a theatre and art critic from 1960 to 1968.
He briefly lived in New York, where he had hoped to work with off-Broadway directors to learn the skills that would help him to establish a repertory group in Trinidad.
However, Walcott soon realised that he wanted to create something different and returned to Trinidad where, in 1959, founded the Little Carib Theatre, which later became the Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW), along with his twin brother Roderick. He remained as the founder director of the TTW until 1971.
For much of his life, Walcott, who also taught at Boston University for many years, divided his time between the United States and the Caribbean.
In spite of his successes, his professional and personal lives were quite stormy.
Walcott married and divorced Jamaican Fay Moston with whom he fathered a son, Peter. He then married Margaret Maillard and they had two daughters, Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw and Anna Walcott-Hardy. That marriage, like his first, did not last long. In 1976, Walcott married Norline Metivier, a young dancer in one of his plays, but that marriage also broke up before long.
In his later years, Walcott had been living with Sigrid Nama, a Danish-Flemish-American art dealer he met in 1987.
Omeros, the book-length epic poem containing 54 chapters divided into seven ‘books’, is arguably one of Walcott’s best known works. It is loosely based on Homer’s epic poem Iliad.
Although he was best known for his poetry, Walcott was also a prolific playwright who wrote some 40 plays, including Dream on Monkey Mountain and The Last Carnival.
Con Información de The trinidad Guardian
Síguenos en Twitter @entornoi