Last April, Claudia & I went to see Derek Walcott read at Harvard's Sackler Museum. His reading was part of the Black Writers Read series, which included wonderful readings by Edwidge Danticat, Zadie Smith, Elizabeth Alexander and Caryl Phillips. Walcott read from an unpublished manuscript that in part deals with visits he made to Italy. Claudia jotted down a couple fragments from his comments during a question and answer session after his reading:

"The horrors you have as a colonial are silent ones."

"I don't feel colorful."

A few years earlier, while I was studying with Walcott at BU, he left an open invitation to those of us in his poetry workshop to sit in on his playwriting workshop. I won't go into the petty politics of the poetry workshop that year, but it's enough to mention that none of my colleagues took up Walcott's invitation. In his playwriting workshop, one piece of advice he gave his students was in relation to stage design and props. He advocated using as few materials as possible.

"Think poor."

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