Nobel poet see new Caribbean writing style emerging

A.M. Costa Rica/Aaron Knapp
Derek Walcott

Nobel-prize winning author Derek Walcott stressed the enduring importance of Afro-Caribbean literature.

Although Walcott is not Costa Rican and writes in English, he is considered one of the best poets in the Caribbean region, and he will be featured alongside some of Costa Rica’s greatest writers at the 13th annual international book fair that starts Friday.

He pointed out modern writers in the Caribbean and Latin America who are developing a new style, using their own language and creating a new and unique literary identity for the region.

“Caribbean prose in general is changing, because instead of using Anglo words, Caribbean writers use slang with their own vocabularies, which encourages the reader to understand and poke in prose, in order to understand the real meaning of the words used,” he said. “These younger writers are consolidating a Caribbean identity.”

Walcott was born in St. Lucia in 1930 and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1992. His most famous works include his epic poem in the style of Homer, “Omeros” and the poem “White Egrets,” for which he won the T.S. Eliot Prize last year.

The book fair will start this Friday and run until Sept. 2 in the Antigua Aduana. Walcott will take part in eight events at the fair every afternoon and evening from Friday until next Tuesday.

Entrance to the fair is 1,000 colons for general admission, 500 colons for seniors and students and free for children.

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