Nobel Laureate in Literature to Speak at Council of Provosts Convocation April 16 at UC San Diego

March 28, 2007

By Jan Jennings

Derek Walcott, recipient of the 1992 Nobel Prize in literature, will be the featured speaker at the Council of Provosts Convocation at 7 p.m. April 16 in the Weiss Theater at the University of California, San Diego. UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College is hosting the event, which is free and open to the public.

Considered by literary critics to be one of the finest living English language poets, Walcott also is a playwright, author, visual artist, and professor. His presentation will include poetry and commentary. A book signing will follow.

Derek Walcott

Walcott won the Nobel Prize in literature “for a poetic oeuvre of great luminosity, sustained by a historical vision, the outcome of a multicultural commitment.”
Born in 1930 in Saint Lucia, one of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles, Walcott studied at St. Mary’s College in Saint Lucia and at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He moved to Trinidad in 1953 and founded the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959 where his plays have been produced since that time. He remains active on its Board of Directors.

Walcott also founded Boston Playwrights’ Theatre at Boston University in 1981. He continues to teach literature, poetry, and drama at Boston University and gives lectures and readings throughout the world. He divides his time between Trinidad, where he has a home as a writer, and his teaching duties at Boston University.
According to Nobel Prize writings, three loyalties are central to Walcott: the Caribbean where he lives, the English language, and his African origin. He has explored the differences in the heritage of European and West Indian cultures, the long way from slavery to independence, and his own nomadic existence between cultures.

Deeply rooted in Caribbean society with its cultural fusion of African, American, Hispanic, and European elements, Walcott is best know for his epic poem, Omeros, a reworking of the Homeric story and tradition into a journey around the Caribbean and beyond to the American West and London.

Walcott’s visit to UCSD is being sponsored by the Helen Edison Lecture Series, UCSD Libraries, Council of Provosts, the six colleges, Division of Arts and Humanities, Office for Graduate Research, Department of Theatre and Dance, and La Jolla Playhouse.

For further information, go to the website, http://marshall.ucsd.edu/index.php.

Media Contact: Pat Jacoby, (858) 534-7404 or Jan Jennings, 858-822-1684

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