Sir Derek Walcott to receive state funeral



Sir Derek Alton Walcott, KCSL OBE OCC, who died at home in Saint Lucia on Friday, March 17, is to receive a state funeral.

The Cabinet of Ministers approved the decision on Monday, in light of the contribution by Sir Derek Walcott to Saint Lucia.

This highest national honor, normally reserved for heads of state and government, has been conferred on Sir Derek out of respect for his exceptional contribution to the literary and artistic legacy of Saint Lucia, the Caribbean and the world.


Sir Derek Walcott was ‘a true cultural icon’ – CARICOM SG


Sir Derek, a prolific and accomplished writer who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992, has left a void in the tapestry of Caribbean literature and theatre, after more than seven decades of producing inspiring literary works in essays, poetry and plays.  The boy prodigy, who published his first poetry collection at aged 14, evolved into a global literary colossus. – CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque
 Sir Derek Walcott, OCC., was a true Cultural Icon, a gift from Saint Lucia to the Region and the world.  He embraced the entire Caribbean as his own.  His lyrical poetry and penetrative plays resounded with the rhythm and spirit of the Caribbean Civilisation, CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque said on Friday.

In a message of condolence on the death of the Saint Lucian-born Nobel Laureate, the Secretary-General remembered Sir Derek as “a quintessential Caribbean writer”, who was perhaps most celebrated for his epic poem, Omeros.

“A quintessential Caribbean writer, Walcott is perhaps most celebrated for his epic poem, Omeros (1990), which received widespread global acclaim from publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times Book Review, which chose Omeros as one of the “Best Books of 1990″. His play Dream on Monkey Mountain (1970) was produced on NBC-TV and performed off-Broadway in 1970 and 1971, respectively, and also won the prestigious Obie Award for “Best Foreign Play” in 1971.

He also left a lasting legacy in theatre by founding the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in 1959 and the Boston Playwright’s Theatre in 1981.


Please see full text of the message below:

On behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), I wish to express profound sympathy on the passing of internationally acclaimed Caribbean poet and playwright, Saint Lucian born, Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek Walcott, OCC. (more…)

Prime Minister Chastanet honours Sir Derek as an icon

Sir Derek Walcott (Photo via Barbados Today)
Sir Derek Walcott, OCC
Saint Lucia PM Allen Chastanet
Saint Lucia PM Allen Chastanet

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet has offered condolences to the wife and family of Saint Lucian poet, playwright, and Nobel Laureate, Sir Derek Alton Walcott.

Sir Derek passed this morning, March 17, at his home in Cap Estate, Saint Lucia. He was 87 years old.

“When everyone speaks of excellence, the two names that stand tall in Saint Lucia’s history are Sir Arthur Lewis, and Sir Derek Walcott. As such, today is a historical day, as it marks the passing of Sir Derek,” the Prime Minister said. “His, is a household name, as he made himself so available and participated in many national and local events in Saint Lucia. It has become customary for all of us to see Sir Derek, and to know that he was here all the time. There is one thing that Derek truly was—a Caribbean person. He was always very consistent, and emotional about being Caribbean and being original. (more…)

BREAKING NEWS: Sir Derek Walcott dies – St. Lucia News Online

Sir Derek Walcott (Photo via Barbados Today)
Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott (Photo via Barbados Today)

Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott KCSL OBE OCC passed away at his home about 7:30 a.m. today after a prolonged illness, the St. Lucia News Online has reported.

He was 87.

Walcott was a Saint Lucian poet and playwright. He received the 1992 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was Professor of Poetry at the University of Essex from 2010 to 2013.

His works include the Homeric epic poem Omeros (1990), which many critics view “as Walcott’s major achievement.”

In addition to having won the Nobel, Walcott has won many literary awards over the course of his career, including an Obie Award in 1971 for his play Dream on Monkey Mountain, a MacArthur Foundation “genius” award, a Royal Society of Literature Award, the Queen’s Medal for Poetry, the inaugural OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize for his book of poetry White Egrets and the Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry Lifetime Recognition Award in 2015.