ICONIC: A trailblazing talent
THE WORLD mourns news of Caribbean poet, playwright and professor Derek Walcott's death today at 87-years-old.
According to local media reports, he passed away at his St.Lucia home, after a long illness.
The writer's published works include Dream on Donkey Mountain, White Egrets and his epic, Omeros. He would often examine the Caribbean and its brutal relationship with the British Empire.
Walcott spent many years of his life teaching at universities in the United States, Canada and England; he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013.
Walcott's father, who died when Derek was an infant, was a painter and a poet. His mother, a school teacher, would recite Shakespeare to her son during his childhood. She borrowed $200 to publish his first anthology and sold it on street corners. Walcott attributed his literary voice and, in part, willingness to pursue this career to his mother's encouragement.
He once said: "I always knew what I wanted to do, which was to write poetry from young [...] and then later plays, so I knew my vocation extremely early".
Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, the TS Eliot Prize for Poetry in 2011 and a Knighthood in his native St.Lucia in 2015.
He is widely regarded as one of the Caribbean's best poets.
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