Spoken word artist, musician and actor Saul Williams will explain connection between hip-hop and poetry

The celebrated spoken word artist Saul Williams will give a presentation for Washington University’s Assembly Series at 11 a.m. Wed., Feb. 16. The talk is free and open to the public and will be held in Graham Chapel, located just north of Mallinckrodt Center (6445 Forsyth Blvd.) on the Washington University campus.

His poetry, known as “spoken word” consists of fast words that have an innate rhythm to them, like hip-hop. The goal of the spoken word movement is to bring poetry back to the people. Spoken word artists often compete in “slams”, where one poet sounds off against another and the best poet wins. Audience members chosen at random judge the events.

Saul Williams
Saul Williams

Williams became the Grand Slam Champion in 1996 at the Nuyorican Poet’s Café in New York City. The café is a non-profit, highly respected arts organization and has become an acclaimed forum for innovative poetry, music, hip-hop, visual arts, comedy and theater.

In 1998, Williams appeared in “Slam,” a film that details the life of a young man in prison who discovers the power of poetry and uses it to regain his sense of self. The film won awards at both the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.

Besides acting and poetry, Williams has written several books including: She, The Seventh Octave; The Early Writings of Saul Williams; and , said the shotgun to the head. As a musician/poet, Williams has three CDs to his credit. These include the recently released Saul Williams, the 2003 Not in My Name and his 2001 debut album, Amethyst Rock Star.

Williams earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in acting from New York University. For more information, visit http://assemblyseries.wustl.edu or call 314-935-4620.