The modest mastery of Saul Williams

A first encounter in hearing Saul Williams’ poetry might be akin to a fresh introduction to the influence of language when under proper command.

Like a child being taught to form its first vowels, Williams finds himself enveloped in sound, clutching to each note and syllable, analyzing every meaning.

On his personal site, Williams is modest, displaying his accomplishment almost flippantly, writing, “Here are some credentials… There are some awards I’ve won… blah, blah, blah.” Never mind that among those awards is the Camera D’Or from the Cannes Film Festival for the film Slam, in which Williams was featured as a lead actor and a writer, as well as winning Nuyorican Grand Slam Champion.

As a musician, actor, writer, and poet, Williams has found success on multiple fronts and has spread his style throughout multiple genres. He has worked and performed with notable artists such as Erykah Badu, KRS One, The Fugees, and Nas. After appearing on the Nine Inch Nails album Year One, Trent Reznor even co-produced Williams’ 2007 album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!

Whether it’s the account of intimacy between a man and the female messiah in his book Said the Shotgun to the Head, or the personal story of a struggle for individual acceptance in his song “Black Stacey,” each word is chosen so precisely, achieving a level of visceral impact that is felt from audiences, internationally.

On June 12th, World Café Live will be featuring Spoken Word by Saul Stacey Williams live. To read and deconstruct his poetry is to analyze true craftsmanship. To witness Saul Williams perform his work in his own voice is an opportunity not to be missed. Get tickets here.