Jean Antoine-Dunne Inter’s Interlocking Basins of a Globe : Essays on Derek Walcott, is an essential addition to the understanding and appreciation of Walcott’s work. The essays included in the collection range from discussion of Walcott’s earliest poetry in Twenty-Five Poems (1948) to his most recent collections that explore encroaching old age, The Prodigal (2004) and White Egrets (2010).
The contributors to this collection are predominantly, but not wholly, Caribbean-based, which ensures that, whilst his position as poet of the world is celebrated, the Caribbean, and more specifically St Lucia, is seen as the source to which Derek Walcott’s writing constantly returns.
Gordon Rohlehr offers a powerfully contextualised political and aesthetic reading of the whole range of Walcott’s poetry; Harold McDermott surveys the “mulatto” aesthetics of Walcott’s critical writing; Rachel Friedman, a Homer scholar, notes how Walcott’s work in Omeros and The Odyssey: A Stage Version challenges a rereading of the original epics; Edward Baugh, perhaps the most distinguished of all Walcott critics, explores how Walcott’s poetry crosses local and international spaces; Rhonda Cobham-Sander revisits the old story of the alleged competitive relationship between Walcott and Kamau Brathwaite and finds a flow of influence from the latter to the former; Louis Regis documents Walcott’s writing on calypso as part of Walcott’s ambivalent relationship to the popular; Jean Antoine-Dunne explores the visual/filmic imagination in Walcott’s work; Edward Chamberlin, and Jennifer Toews write about the Walcott archive at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto and make available eighteen reproductions of Derek Walcott’s theatre sketches, most in full colour; Kenneth Ramchand looks closely at Walcott’s approach to the Indo-Caribbean Ramlila in his Nobel speech, “The Antilles: Fragments of Epic Memory”; Antonia MacDonald, who grew up in St Lucia, confronts the problems of how to teach the real complexity of Walcott’s work to young people in St Lucia; George B. Handley uses an ecocritical focus on Walcott’s poems of nature to chart a persistent element of spirituality in his work; and finally, there is Patrick Anthony’s essay on the ambivalent religious impulse in Walcott’s later work and his focus on death and after death.
Dr Jean Antoine-Dunne is a Senior Lecturer in Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. She was born in Trinidad.