poet and playwright, born in St Lucia. His plays include Dream on Monkey Mountain (1967, pub. 1971), The Joker of Seville (1974, pub. 1978; based on Tirso da Molina's El Burlador de Sevilla), O Babylon! (1976, pub. 1978; set amongst a Rastafarian community in Kingston, Jamaica), and Viva Detroit (1992). His collections of poetry include In a Green Night: Poems 1948–60 (1962), The Castaway and other poems (1965), Sea Grapes (1976), The Fortunate Traveller (1982), The Arkansas Testament (1987), Omeros (1989, his epic Caribbean Odyssey), Tiepolo's Hound (2000), and The Prodigal (2005). Both plays and poetry show a preoccupation with the national identity of the West Indies and their literature, and with the conflict between the heritage of European and West Indian culture. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992.