About this Artist
To thousands of youth across America, SAUL WILLIAMS has defined and redefined poetry as an accessible, living art form. His poetry has served as the archetype for a new generation of poets and spoken word artists. His groundbreaking work as a writer and actor in the critically acclaimed film, Slam (Sundance's Grand Jury Prize '98; Cannes' Camera D'Or '98), placed him as a figurehead of the spoken word/slam poetry movement that has spread across the United States and culminated in such commercial successes as Def Poetry Jam.
Saul is the author of four collections of poetry: ,said the shotgun to the head. (2003 MTV Books/Pocket Books), She (1999 MTV Books/Pocket Books), The Seventh Octave (1997 Moore Black Press), and his latest The Dead Emcee Scrolls, which was released in February 2006 through MTV/Pocket Books.
His musical debut, Amethyst Rock Star (2001 American Recordings/Island Def Jam), was produced by legendary rock/hip hop producer, Rick Rubin, and received high praises, such as "album of the year" by The Times of London. Saul's recent self-titled CD was released in September 2004 (FADER LABEL) leading him to tour with The Mars Volta, My Morning Jacket, and Nine Inch Nails. On June 14th 2005, Saul received the LA Weekly Music Award for Best Hip Hop/Rap Artist.
Saul has lectured and presented his work at some one hundred universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad. He has performed, toured, and lectured around the world including the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Sweden, Belgium, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Brazil, and Japan. His performances have been featured at the Whitney Museum (NY), the New Museum (NY), Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Arts, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Stockholm, Sweden. Saul may perhaps be the nation's youngest poet to have his writings added to the curriculum of a number of universities and high schools across the country where he has been asked to perform his work, lecture, and teach workshops including: New York University, American University, Morehouse College, Oberlin, UCLA, George Washington University, Cornell University, and Harvard. Saul received his MFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts (1997) and his BAs in Drama and Philosophy from Morehouse College (1994).
Saul often makes television appearances including: a recurring role on the UPN hit sitcom Girlfriends, HBO's Def Poetry Jam, The Orlando Jones Show, The Chris Rock Show, Politically Incorrect, Tavis Smiley, and many more. His writings appear in several anthologies and periodicals such as Catch the Fire, The Spoken Word Revolution, The New York Times, Essence, and more. In May 2004 Saul was honored with the L.A. Weekly Theatre Award for Best Male Performance in a play for his extraordinary performance in Tibi's Law.
His political voice is being heard as well: Saul's recent work has been of worldly importance as he has contributed his skills to the 'Not In Our Name' initiative. His draft of their Pledge of Resistance served as a manifesto for millions across the world who have sought to stop the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. He often does performances for various causes and organizations he believes in such as "Get Out the Vote."
Saul's accomplishments continue to mount with a starring part in the recent film Lakawanna Blues produced for HBO with Halle Berry and a symphony written by Swiss composer Thomas Kessler based on Williams' book ,said the shotgun to the head., performed by Saul at the Royal Symphony Hall with full orchestra in Basel, Switzerland, 2005. He performed the same piece with both the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra and Radio Symphonie Orchestra of Stuttgart in the summer of 2006.