The literary world has lost one of its lions. Sir Derek Walcott, the Nobel Prize winning poet and playwright has passed away. He was 87.
Born in St. Lucia and known as the Poet Laureate of the Caribbean, Walcott’s collection In A Green Night: Poems 1948 – 1960 earned the writer wide acclaim outside of the region. His work centered on life in St. Lucia and the effects colonialism had on the nations in the West Indies. In 1992, Walcott won the Nobel Prize for literature and the award committee praised his ability to amplify the voices of those in St. Lucia and beyond.
“In his literary works Walcott has laid a course for his own cultural environment, but through them he speaks to each and every one of us. In him, West Indian culture has found its great poet,” the Nobel committee said.
Throughout his life Walcott wrote a number of award winning poetry collections and plays, including his most recent work Morning, Paramin, which was released last year. Until his death, Walcott was called the world’s “most eminent living poet.”
In February 2016, during St. Lucia’s independence ceremony, Walcott became one of the first knights of the Order of Saint Lucia and was officially given the title “Sir.”
Sir Derek Walcott passed away Friday morning at his home near Gros Islet in St. Lucia, but his work will live on forever.