The Sea is History: A Conversation with Derek Walcott

Hart House, Caribbean Studies, & Diaspora & Transnational Studies of the University of Toronto present “The Sea is History: A Conversation with Derek Walcott.” Walcott, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992, will speak to Professor Christian Campbell of the Department of English about his life and work. The conversation will take place at the Hart House Theatre on November 23, 2010, at 7:00pm. Tickets are already available for this event.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at Robarts, University of Toronto, is home to the Derek Walcott Papers and the archives of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, which was founded by Walcott.

Biography: Derek Walcott was born in 1930 in the town of Castries in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The experience of growing up on the isolated volcanic island, an ex-British colony, has had a strong influence on Walcott’s life and work. Both his grandmothers were said to have been the descendants of slaves. His father, a Bohemian watercolourist, died when Derek and his twin brother, Roderick, were only a few years old. His mother ran the town’s Methodist school. After studying at St. Mary’s College in his native island and at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Walcott moved in 1953 to Trinidad, where he has worked as theatre and art critic. At the age of 18, he made his debut with 25 Poems, but his breakthrough came with the collection of poems, In a Green Night (1962). In 1959, he founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop which produced many of his early plays.

Walcott has been an assiduous traveller to other countries but has always, not least in his efforts to create an indigenous drama, felt himself deeply-rooted in Caribbean society with its cultural fusion of African, Asiatic and European elements. For many years, he has divided his time between Trinidad, where he has his home as a writer, and Boston University, where he teaches literature and creative writing.

[Many thanks to Nestor E. Rodríguez for bringing this item to our attention.]

For more information, see

Derek Walcott’s “Seascape” from

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