Derek Walcott, born in Castries St. Lucia, came from a family that had a love and appreciation for the arts. Walcott initially trained as a painter but soon discovered his passion and talent for poetry. Aged 14, he published his first poem in the local newspaper. Just 5 years later, he had printed two collections of his poems. He borrowed the money from his mother to do so and made the money back distributing his books on street corners and selling them to friends.
Having studied at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, Walcott then moved to Trinidad in 1953. There he became a critic, teacher and journalist.
Walcott’s major breakthrough came in 1962 with a collection of poems called, ‘In a Green Night: Poems 1948-1960’. This collection along with many of Derek Walcott’s poems celebrated the Caribbean and its history.
In 1990, Derek Walcott published one of his greatest pieces, ‘Omeros’. This piece was an effort to touch every aspect of the Caribbean experience. It secured him an international reputation.