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Poetic flow!

Derek Walcott
Derek Walcott
Originally published 9 March 2004

“I am amazed that the wind is tirelessly fresh,
The wind is older than the world.”

Playwright and Nobel Prize-winning poet, Derek Walcott was a special guest of the University last week, as part of a planned year long series of events to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Centre for Caribbean Studies.

Known for his eloquent themes of the poetry that blends Caribbean, English and African traditions, St Lucian born Derek Walcott was driven to create a literature truthful to West Indian life. Some of his works include:

25 poems (his debut collection), In a Green Night, Castaway (1965), The Fortunate Traveller (1981), Midsummer (1984), and the epic poem Omeros (1990), considered his most ambitious work, which recalls the dramas of the Iliad and Odyssey in a Caribbean setting.

The highlight of his visit was a rare reading of his work at the Warwick Arts Centre as part of the ‘Writers of Warwick’ event last Thursday March 4. This saw the writer passionately deliver excerpts from his collection reflective of his thoughts on 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.

Other aspects of his visit included a venture into Coventry to lend support to the fledgling but very successful new literary press, Heaventree Press, set up by graduates of the Warwick Writing Programme.

Walcottt’s visit was made possible through a joint venture between the Warwick Writing Programme, CTCCS and the Centre for Caribbean Studies.