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PRESS RELEASE – The arts fraternity, Saint Lucia and the world has lost one of its noted literary icons, Sir Derek Walcott. He died at 87 on Friday 17th March at home, in the company of family and friends.
The Board of Management and staff of the Cultural Development Foundation extend condolences to Sigrid Nama, his partner of many years, his children and the arts fraternity, particularly the writers and poets whose lives and work he influenced tremendously. Our sympathies extend to Saint Lucia as a nation, who without doubt are proud and honoured to call him a true son of Saint Lucia. He was very vocal about the island’s culture and heritage and its preservation and his love for Saint Lucia and the Caribbean was evident in his numerous mentions of “home” in his work.
A distinguished playwright and poet, Sir Derek Walcott received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. He self-published his first book, 25 Poems when he was 18. His illustrious body of work includes: Three Plays: The Last Carnival; Beef, No Chicken and A Branch of the Blue Nile (1969), Dream on Monkey Mountain and Other Plays (1970), The Joker of Seville and O Babylon! (1978), Remembrance and Pantomime (1980), The Isle is Full of Noises (1982), Omeros (1990) and The Odyssey: A Stage Version (1992).
Sir Derek Walcott has received numerous awards including a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s medal of Poetry and a MacArthur Foundation genius award. In 2016, as part of Independence celebrations, he was given the title of “Sir”, one of the first to be knighted under the Order of Saint Lucia.