MacArthur Fellows Program

Derek Walcott

Poet and Playwright | Class of June 1981

Poet and Playwright
Boston, Massachusetts
51 at time of award
March 17, 2017
Area of Focus
Poetry, Theatrical Arts
Published June 1, 1981

Derek Walcott is a West Indian poet and dramatist whose works deal with man’s relations to God and to society.

Walcott’s plays range through myth and folklore and tend to be loosely structured folk allegories written in Creole and English.  His plays include Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays (1971), The Joker of Sevill and O’ Babylon!: Plays  (1978), Remembrance and Pantomime (1980), To Die for Grenada (1986), Odyssey: A Stage Version (1993), Walker and Ghost Dance: Plays (2002), and The Haitian Trilogy (2002).  Among his works of poetry are Selected Poems (1964), The Gulf (1970), Another Life (1973), The Star-Apple Kingdom (1979), Collected Poems, 1948-1984 (1986), The Arkansas Testament (1987), Omeros (1990), Derek Walcott: Selected Poems (1993),  The Bounty (1997), Tiepolo’s Hound (2000), and The Prodigal (2004).  He is also the author of the book of essays What the Twilight Says (1998), among many other works.

Walcott is a co-founder of the Trinidad Theater Workshop and a professor in the Department of English at Boston University.

Walcott received a B.A. (1953) from the University of the West Indies.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of Derek Walcott
March 17, 2017
"Derek Walcott's Poetry Had Grandeur, an Exuberance of Language"
Los Angeles Times
Derek Walcott , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
March 17, 2017
"Derek Walcott, Poet and Nobel Laureate of the Caribbean, Dies at 87"
The New York Times
Derek Walcott , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
December 18, 2014
"Poet Derek Walcott: Art and Science Share a Common Goal"
Big Think
Derek Walcott , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
April 26, 2014
“Beach Bard”
The Economist
Derek Walcott , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
April 7, 2014
"J. Mae Barizo on The Poetry of Derek Walcott, 1948-2013"
Los Angeles Review of Books
Derek Walcott , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
February 21, 2014
“Poet of the Caribbean”
The New York Times
Derek Walcott , 1981 MacArthur Fellow
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