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Derek Walcott Winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, has never wanted to be anything else but a poet and writer. Born in St. Lucia on the exact same day as Sir Arthur Lewis, who also won the Nobel Prize, but fifteen years later. Derek has written since childhood. His father died shortly after his birth, so Derek and his twin brother Roderick were brought up by their mother, who lent Derek two hundred dollars (which was no small amount in those days) when he was still in his teens, to publish his first anthology of poems, these were well received. Derek went to University College of the West Indies (His shortcomings in maths, being the only thing that prevented his entry to Oxford) where he studied English, and soon made a name for himself, as a poet and a playwright. He was soon given a commission to write a play for the West Indies commemorating federal aperations. After graduation he taught in schools, first in Grenada, and then in Trinidad. It was in Trinidad with its cosmopolitan population, and rich cultural diversity that Derek was to feel more at home as an artist. However, like all artists he lamented his 'chores as a hack' when he worked as a journalist on the Trinidad Guardian. But what perhaps gave reign to his prodigious talent, was when he founded the Theatre Workshop in Trinidad. Here with a group of dedicated amateur actors Walcott began to produce a number of plays. They put on famous plays by Shakespeare and other major writers, and Walcott wrote and produced a number of his own plays for the Workshop. It was very hard work for all of them, the stage managers, property managers, set designers, actors and Walcott all had full time jobs, yet they gave up most of their spare time for this creative effort. Walcott was not an easy director to work with! On one occasion in his native St. Lucia, a famous St. Lucian actor who had to play a part in which he fell asleep, took some drinks before the production and fell asleep in truth. Not only did he fall asleep, but proceeded to snore loudly much to the amusement of the audience and the fury of Walcott. The actor, a very talented man was very apologetic, but Walcott was not the slightest amused, and refused to cast him again in any of his plays. After a long time and much pleading from the actor, Walcott relented. But he then deliberately cast the actor as a monkey, where he had to make a fool of himself. Unlike every other Caribbean writer. Walcott's fame spread abroad, and his Theatre Workshop and its actors began touring internationally, and winning acclaim. His most famous play "Dream on Monkey Mountain" won an Obie award, as best off Broadway production. Walcott also won the MacArthur Genius Award, which allowed him to do what ever he wished with the prize money. Walcott finally left the Caribbean to take up teaching posts in American Universities, but he visited the Caribbean at every opportunity, and when he published his most famous epic poem 'Omeros', which immortalises St. Lucia, while teaching as a Professor at Boston University, it was an immediate landmark in world literature! 'Omeros' followed its most acclaimed predecessors in the genre, Homer's 'lliad' and 'Odyssey', 'The Aeneid' by Virgil, 'The Divine Comedy', by Dante and Ovid's 'Metamorphoses'. When 'Omeros' was published some felt that it was such a monumental literary work, that it demanded the Nobel Prize, and so it proved. Within one year of its appearance Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.