The West Indian poet and playwright Derek Walcott was honored at the National Black Writers Conference at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Saturday, March 29, Angela P. Dodson reports in this article for Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Here’s an excerpt, with a link to the full text below.
In a program nearly on the eve of National Poetry Month, celebrated throughout April, Walcott, a Nobel laureate, received the W. E. B. Du Bois Award for 2014 at the 12th national NBWC sponsored by the Center for Black Literature at the college.
“The awarding of the W.E.B. DuBois to Derek Walcott at the 12th National Black Writers Conference reflects our praise and tribute to a man whose literary voice has impacted all parts of the African diaspora,” said Brenda M. Greene, Ph.D., executive director for the Center for Black Literature. “Mr. Walcott’s presence was one of the heights of the conference.”
Dr. Greene said the conference was also honored to have him participate the previous day in a program there, “A Conversation with Derek Walcott: The Search for Self in Caribbean Literature: Past, Present, and Future.” He was joined by the Trinidadian poet Mervyn Taylor and St. Lucian poet and producer Adrian Augier. The conversation focused on Caribbean literature, especially Walcott’s writing, exploring themes of identity, memory, belonging and spirituality.
“Derek Walcott, from his place as a St. Lucian poet, playwright, and painter, writes of the world, of love, of the legacy of colonialism in his country, of the complexity of identity and of the search for self in language layered with images and metaphors that capture our unspoken desires, our questions, our rages, our paradoxes and our conflicts,” said Dr. Greene, who is also chair of the Department of English.
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To read more about him, see Conversations With Derek Walcott, available on DiverseBooks.net. http://diversebooks.net/conversations-with-derek-walcott.html It is a part of a series of books from the University of Mississippi Press that compile interviews with a diverse spectrum of poets and writers, including Rita Dove, Audre Lorde, Elizabeth Bishop, Nikki Giovanni, Ishmael Reed, Yusef Komunyakaa and Robert Penn Warren.
Walcott is also one of the essayists in Fourteen on Form: Conversations with Poets, by the University of Mississippi Press. http://diversebooks.net/fourteen-on-form-conversations-with-poets-1.html and is featured in African-American Writers: Portraits and Visions. http://diversebooks.net/african-american-writers-portraits-and-visions.html