- Created: 22 October 2014
Prolific American poet, singer, musician, writer and actor, Saul Stacey Williams, was born in New York. After graduating from Morehouse College with a BA in Acting and Philosophy, Williams moved to New York City to earn an MFA in Acting from New York University's prestigious Graduate Acting Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. While there, he found himself at the center of the New York cafe poetry scene.
By 1995, he had become an open mic poet and, in 1996, won the title of Nuyorican Poets Cafe's Grand Slam Champion. The documentary film SlamNationfollows Williams and other members of the 1996 Nuyorican Poets Slam team as they compete in the 1996 National Poetry Slam in Oregon.
In 1998, Williams played lead in the feature film Slam, in which he was both writer and actor. A clear success, the film won both the Sundance Festival Grand Jury Prize and the Cannes Camera D'Or (Golden Camera),introducing Williams to international audiences.
As a writer Williams has published in the New York Times, and African Voices, among others and has released four collections of poetry, including She andChorus. He has also toured and lectured across the world at many universities and colleges.
On his fusion of genres and disciplines, Williams comments: “It's not that I balance those arts out; all the different arts balance me out. So, that there is a certain type of emotion that is more easily accessible through music than poetry.”
In 2012, Williams made his latest film appearance inAjourd’hui, which featured at the recent 33rd Durban International Film Festival in 2012.
Williams has guest appeared on over 20 CD compilations and has seven albums to his name, including his latest offering, Volcanic Sunlight, which was released in November 2011.