The Prodigal, Derek Walcott's new collection, is a dazzling odyssey for the twenty-first century. Beginning on America's East Coast, the poem journeys restlessly through the European continent, exploring the inheritance of the Old World upon Walcott's native St Lucia, and sees the poet wondering about his own sense of abandonment, whether to leave a place is to lose it. The Prodigal is a compelling steer between exile and belonging, Europe and the New World, wanderlust and the inevitable pull of home.
Derek Walcott was born in St Lucia, in the West Indies, in 1930. The author of many plays and books of poetry, he was awarded the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988 and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992. The Prodigal, a new long poem, is his first book since Tiepolo's Hound in 2000. He now divides his time between St Lucia and New York.