Nobel prize laureate Derek Walcott to address Book Fair in St. Martin

Derek Walcott, author, Nobel Prize laureate. In photo at an honorary dinner in Amsterdam (2008). (

Nobel Prize laureate Derek Walcott is the confirmed keynote speaker for the 9th annual St. Martin Book Fair, June 2 – 4, 2011, said book fair coordinator Shujah Reiph.

Freedom of Expression” is the theme of the three-day fair that opens with Walcott’s address at the Chamber of Commerce Building in Spring Concordia, Marigot, June 2, at 8 PM.

St. Martin lovers of reading, writing, good books, Caribbean culture, and just plain culture chic – along with visitors to the island – will get a front-row seat to see, hear and meet the world-acclaimed St. Lucian poet, playwright, writer and visual artist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.

In 2011, the much-in-demand Walcott won the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK and Trinidad’s BOCAS literary prize for White Egrets, his new and 14th book of poems.

Literary critic Kate Kellaway in The Observer said that the book that earned Walcott his reputation was Omeros, “an outstanding homage to Homer written with buoyant originality.”

But to folks in the Caribbean, the Obie-winning play “Dream on Monkey Mountain” and other titles and individual poems had already given Walcott an almost legendary status by the time he won the coveted Nobel Prize, said literary critic Fabian Badejo.

The English novelist Robert Graves once wrote that Walcott “handles English with a closer understanding of its inner magic than most, if not any, of his contemporaries” (Wikipedia). Now St. Martin’s bookfair-goers will get two chances to see and hear Walcott for themselves and get their copies of his books autographed, said Reiph.

The second book fair appearance for Walcott will be his recital at the literary evening at Le Charolais Restaurant, Maho Plaza, on June 3. The literary evening features St. Martin and visiting poets and writers reading from their poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose, said Reiph.

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