In Focus: The Poetry of Derek Walcott
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Join us for this event reviewing the poetry of the remarkable Derek Walcott (1930-2017), with particular focus on his collection White Egrets. Awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992, Walcott’s work continues to inspire and captivate. We will be joined by poets Glyn Maxwell, editor of The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2015, and Ishion Hutchinson to discuss the legacy of Walcott and how his work continues to resonate with audiences. This event is the first in a new In Focus series of Members events celebrating some of Faber’s most beloved literary voices of the past.
In White Egrets, Derek Walcott treats his characteristic subjects – the Caribbean’s complex colonial legacy, the Western artistic tradition, the blessings and withholdings of old Europe (Andalucia, the Mezzogiorno, Amsterdam), the unaccomodating sublime of the new world, time’s cunning passages, the poet’s place in all of this – with a passionate intensity and drive that recall his greatest work. Through the systolic and mesmerizing repetition of theme and imagery, Walcott carries his surf-like cadence from poem to poem, and from sequence to sequence in this celebratory and close-knit collection.
Ishion Hutchinson was born in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He is the author of two poetry collections, Far District (2010) and House of Lords and Commons (2016). His awards include the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, the Windham-Campbell Prize for poetry, and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
A new edition of Far District has just been published by Faber. You can view the collection here.
Glyn Maxwell is a poet, playwright, novelist, librettist and critic. His volumes of poetry include The Breakage, Hide Now, and Pluto, all of which were shortlisted for either the Forward or T. S. Eliot Prizes, and The Nerve, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. His Selected Poems, One Thousand Nights and Counting, was published on both sides of the Atlantic in 2011. He has a long association with Derek Walcott, who taught him in Boston in the late 1980s, and whose Selected Poems he edited in 2014. Many of Maxwell’s plays have been staged in London and New York, including Liberty at Shakespeare’s Globe, and at the Almeida, Arcola, RADA and Southwark Playhouse.
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