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Saul Williams: Poetry as Design

  • Freight & Salvage 2020 Addison Street Berkeley, CA, 94704 United States (map)

Saul Williams has shared his music and spoken word performances in over 30 countries, with invitations from world-class venues such as the White House, the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, The Louvre, The Getty Center, and Queen Elizabeth Hall. At Berkeley's own Freight & Salvage, hack into Williams' mind as he navigates "Poetry as Design," performing selections from two dynamic new works "US(a.)" and "Martyr Loser King." 

Also featured in performance are avant-garde explorative jazz musicians, BLACK SPIRITUALS, and Oakland based poet, screenwriter, curator and educator, CHINAKA HODGE.

“Saul Williams poignantly articulates the world around us as few people can.”
—Los Angeles Times Magazine

Written and recorded between Senegal, Reunion Island, Paris, Haiti, New Orleans, and New York, Williams’s “Martyr Loser King” is a multimedia project that engages the digital dialogue between the First and Third Worlds and the global street sounds that yoke the two. He cites Beyoncé, Fredo Santana, and Haitian field recordings as the musical inspirations for this self-produced 6th album, which strains trap hi-hats and mbira strokes together for a nuanced, entirely original sound. “I’m just letting you know what I’m reading and seeing while I’m writing,” says Williams. “When I’m writing, the music leads.”

Williams will also share work from his most recent book of poetry, titled “US(a.),” which presents his ideas about the current state of America, its psyche, and what being “American” means to him. Though we claim that our devices have “connected” us more than ever, Williams points to the distances (and dissonances) that still exist between us. His performances are calls to action, works of art that provoke us to stop and frisk the moment, make it empty its pockets, and chronicle what’s inside.

Earlier Event: September 26
Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Later Event: October 5
The House on Coco Road