The Haitian Trilogy Plays: Henri Christophe, Drums and Colours, and The Haytian Earth

Derek Walcott

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

448 Pages



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In the history plays that comprise The Haitian TrilogyHenri Christophe, Drums and Colours, and The Haitian Earth—Derek Walcott, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, uses verse to tell the story of his native West Indies as a four-hundred-year cycle of war, conquest and rebellion.

In Henri Christophe and The Haitian Earth, Walcott re-casts the legacy of Haiti's violent revolutionaries—led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, Jean Jacques Dessalines and Henri Christophe—whose rebellion established the first black state in the Americas, but whose cruelty becomes a parable of racial pride and corruption. Drums and Colours, commissioned in 1958 to celebrate the first parliament in Trinidad, is a grand pageant linking the lives of complex, ambiguous heroes: Columbus and Raleigh; Toussaint; and George William Gordon, a martyr of the constitutional era.

From Henri Christophe's high style to the bracing vernacular of The Haitian Earth, to the epic scale and scope of Drums and Colours, in these plays Walcott, one of our most celebrated poets, carved a place in the modern theater for the history of the West Indies, and a sounding room for his own maturing voice.


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Derek Walcott was born in St. Lucia in 1930. His Collected Poems: 1948-1984 was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 1986; his subsequent works include the book-length poem Omeros (1990), The Bounty (1997) and Tiepolo's Hound (2000), illustrated with the poet's own paintings, all FSG books. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992.
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  • Derek Walcott

  • Derek Walcott was born in St. Lucia, the West Indies, in 1930. His Collected Poems: 1948-1984 was published in 1986, and his subsequent works include a book-length poem, Omeros (1990); a collection of verse, The Bounty (1997); and, in an edition illustrated with his own paintings, the long poem Tiepolo's Hound (2000). His most recent collections of plays are The Haitian Trilogy (2001) and Walker and The Ghost Dance (2002). Walcott received the Queen's Medal for Poetry in 1988 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. He has also been given the 2004 Anisfield-Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award.
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