In Boston, Lilt of the Caribbean Poet-Playwright Derek Walcott, Teaching Far from Home, Never Loses Touch with His Origins

By Laurel Shaper Walters, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, April 3, 1993 | Go to article overview

In Boston, Lilt of the Caribbean Poet-Playwright Derek Walcott, Teaching Far from Home, Never Loses Touch with His Origins


Laurel Shaper Walters, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


`THE only thing that holds the world together is theater," Derek Walcott says. Since winning the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature, this poet and playwright has dedicated himself to supporting and expanding the global cohesiveness of theater and the arts in general.

Born on the small Caribbean island of St. Lucia in the West Indies, Mr. Walcott teaches literature and creative writing at Boston University here.

He plans to use part of his million-dollar Nobel Prize award to establish an international center for the arts on Rat Island, three acres of land off the northwest coast of St. Lucia.

Although the idea is still taking shape, Walcott envisions a retreat for people working in all branches of the arts.

In St. Lucia, the weather is warm and welcoming year-round. But Walcott's center would operate on a "four-season schedule," including the seasons of writing, music, dance, and visual arts.

"I don't want to run another kind of writers' colony or summer school," he says. "I don't want a detention camp where you can only write, and you're not supposed to talk to people."

Instead, small groups of artists will come together to work and share ideas. Poets Joseph Brodsky and Seamus Heaney have already agreed to run workshops on the island. Boston University is supporting the project.

"The island would be there for people to work in whatever method they like," Walcott says. "It will be entirely up to individuals what they want to do. It doesn't have to be related or Caribbean-based. But the international aspect of it is very important."

WALCOTT'S own work is a blend of Caribbean, English, and African influences. Whether writing from Boston or the islands, Walcott's subject is his native Caribbean. "The nostalgia increases in proportion to the distance," he says.

Tall and lanky, Walcott is serious about his work but lighthearted about life and himself. His self-deprecating humor regularly breaks through the intensity of his focus.

Walcott has published nearly 20 collections of poetry and plays. His play "Dream on Monkey Mountain" won an Obie Award in 1971. The writer's latest poetic work is "Omeros" (1990), a 325-page poem that weaves together classical themes and Caribbean folkways.

Although best known in the United States for his poetry, Walcott thrives on playwriting. His version of Homer's "Odyssey" will open at London's Royal Shakespeare Company in June. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

In Boston, Lilt of the Caribbean Poet-Playwright Derek Walcott, Teaching Far from Home, Never Loses Touch with His Origins
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.