Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott Has Died At Age 87, But His Poetry Lives On

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On Friday morning, Caribbean poet, playwright, and Nobel laureate Derek Walcott died in his St. Lucia home at the age of 87. Walcott won the 1992 Nobel Prize for Literature, a MacArthur "genius" grant, and the 2011 T.S. Eliot Prize, among other honors. St. Lucia News Online reports that Walcott had "a prolonged illness" before his death, but no official cause of death has been announced.

According to The New York Times, Derek Walcott was already known in the Caribbean for "a book of poems that he published himself as a teenager" when he rose to prominence in the wider poetry community with his 1962 collection, In a Green Night. The Guardian reports that Walcott's Homer-inspired 1990 epic, Omeros, "secured him an international reputation which gained him the Nobel prize in 1992."

In a 1985 interview with The Paris Review, Walcott spoke to the power of poetry as a religious experience:

Check out an excerpt from one of Walcott's poems below:

Bleecker Street, Summer