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.

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