News Releases

UWI celebrates Walcott’s birthday with a gift to the nation

For Release Upon Receipt - January 6, 2010

St. Augustine

As part of its Caribbean Nobel Laureates celebrations, The University of the West Indies honours Derek Walcott on his 80th birthday by offering the nation four days of his work, including a special evening when he reads. From January 12th to 15th, 2010, the UWI will showcase Walcott’s art and literature in an academic conference titled, “Interlocking Basins of a Globe.”

The four-day event kicks off with an exhibition of the Walcott family’s private collection of his paintings and a performance of “Fragments,” a play celebrating Walcott’s literary works, put on by The UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts.

The conference itself begins on January 13th, and will involve panel discussions exploring the intricacies of Walcott’s literature with topics such as “Walcott’s Ghosts and Confréres,” “History as Muse” and “Myths and Histories.” Professor of History, Bridget Brereton will chair a special panel of some established members of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, including Eunice Alleyne, Albert Laveau and Nigel Scott. There will also be a keynote address delivered by Professor Emeritus Edward Baugh, editor of Walcott’s Selected Poems in 2007. Other featured speakers include Professor Emeritus Gordon Rohlehr and Dr. Jean Antoine-Dunne, whose work spans both literature and film.

Among the attendees of the conference are international scholars Laurence Breiner, Paul Breslin, Kenneth Ramchand and Rhonda Cobham.

Secondary school students will pay a visit on January 15th, the last day of the conference, in time to be entertained with another dramatic performance of Walcott’s work by the DCFA. The event culminates with a reading by the man of the hour himself, Derek Walcott, and an opportunity for book signing. All elements are free and open to the public.

To find out more, please contact Dr. Jean Antoine at 662-2002 ext 3021, or

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Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI recently launched its Open Campus, a virtual campus with over 50 physical site locations across the region, serving over 20 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.