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A Creative Place In the Sun

April 01, 1993|ELIZABETH MEHREN

Since time began, almost every writer or poet--and possibly even the odd (very odd) economist or two--has fantasized about escaping to a tropical island.

Thanks to a new collaboration between the government of St. Lucia and Derek Walcott, a St. Lucia native who won the 1992 Nobel Prize for literature, that kind of creative getaway may soon be possible.

Walcott, who was profiled in View last Oct. 15, announced that he is developing a center devoted to the creative arts, and also to economics.

The center will be established on a small island donated by the government of St. Lucia. The three-acre islet has the decidedly unpoetic name of Rat Island.

The arguably improbable combination of creative arts and economics can be traced to Walcott's interest in honoring a fellow St. Lucian, economist Arthur Lewis, who is also a Nobel Prize winner.

In deference to Lewis, Rat Island will house an economics conference center.

The rest of the compound will be used as a retreat and workshop site for artists from around the world.

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