Poetry International Poetry International

Saul Williams

Saul Williams

Saul Williams

(United States of America, 1972)

Saul Williams is an American writer, actor, musician and poet. 

According to Williams, the point of poetry is ‘to express, to share, to relieve, to explore’. He finds poetry, especially the performance of poetry, to be a cathartic experience that helps him navigate the difficulties that life throws at him. As a slam poet, he started blending poetry and hip hop early on and never lost his clear-sightedness and political consciousness. Williams is an avid activist and speaks out clearly about injustice in his work, using different genres to tell his story.  

From slam poetry, he made the transition into music with his debut album Amethyst Rock Star (2001) that was executive produced by Rick Rubin. He later starred as a lead in the musical Holler If Ya Hear Me (2013). It was also through poetry that he first got involved in filmmaking. After winning the title Nuyorican Poets Cafe’s Grand Slam Champion in 1996, he appeared in the documentary SlamNation. After this Williams obtained the lead role in the film Slam (1998) for which he also acted as a writer. The film went on to win the Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize as well as the Cannes Golden Camera. His most recent work is as writer and co-director of Neptune Frost (2021). Williams has published four poetry collections, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, African Voices and Bomb Magazine, among others. He has performed on all kinds of stages, from different prisons and community centers across 30 countries, to the White House and the Sydney Opera House. 

The Seventh Octave, 1998, Moore Black Press, ISBN 0-9658308-1-0 
She, 1999, MTV/Pocketbooks, ISBN 0-671-03977-6 
Said the Shotgun to the Head, 2003, MTV/Pocketbooks, ISBN 0-7434-7079-6 
The Dead Emcee Scrolls, 2006, MTV/Pocketbooks, ISBN 1-4165-1632-8 
Chorus, 2012,[39] 
US (a.), 2015, Gallery Books/MTV Books, ISBN 9781476779324

Poems of Saul Williams
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Prins Bernhard cultuurfonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Gefinancierd door de Europese Unie
Elise Mathilde Fonds
Stichting Verzameling van Wijngaarden-Boot
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère