Press Releases

Poetry Reading and Talk Back with Nobel Prize-Winning Poet and Playwright Derek Walcott March 7

Date Released: 2/28/2008

Nobel prize-winning poet and playwright Derek Walcott will present a poetry reading and talkback at Purchase College on March 7. Walcott’s play, The Odyssey, is being presented by the Purchase Repertory Theatre. Walcott will read from his poetry at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center at 4:30 PM. Admission is free. He will conduct a question-and-answer session with Odyssey director Woodie King Jr. at 7:15 in the Performing Arts Center where the play will be performed at 8 PM, with Walcott in the audience. Tickets for The Odyssey are $20, $15 seniors and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 914-251-6200 or online at

For more information, call 914-251-6550.

Purchase College, State University of New York, is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.

In The Odyssey, Walcott chooses to reimagine Homer’s epic within the context of the Caribbean cultures and traditions he has spent a career evoking and exploring in his work. The Odyssey is a classic tale, but it is also a template, and has always been so. So while the large doses of adventure, violence and the fantastic which erupt along its very modern-seeming, wandering narrative are obviously captivating, there has remained much room for improvisation and exploration by the teller of this tale, and here the teller is himself a poet interested in complexities of race, culture, Afro-European conflicts, colonialism and the threat of political tyranny. The result is an incredibly rich and evocative play which begs to be experienced and interpreted on multiple levels.

The Odyssey will also be performed on Saturday, March 8 at 2 PM and 8 PM.

The poetry reading is sponsored by the Royal and Shirley Durst Distinguished Lecture Series.

The Odyssey is presented through the generous support of the Wachovia Foundation Fund for the School of the Arts.