Event Archives

Artist-in-Residence: Saul Williams

MartyrLoserKing: A Conversation with Saul Williams & Mark Anthony Neal

Iconic spoken word artist Saul Williams will speak with Mark Anthony Neal, Professor of African & African American Studies at Duke University, about Williams’ career, and spoken word and activism.

The following evening, Williams performs with the Mivos Quartet in Nelson Music Room on Duke’s East Campus. Info below and tickets available HERE.

Thursday, October 6, 12 – 1:15 PM | Full Frame Theater, Power Plant Building, American Tobacco Campus, 320 Blackwell Street, Durham (Map | Parking) | Free & open to the public. A light lunch will be served in the Power Plant Gallery for all attendees following the conversation.


Saul Williams & Mivos Quartet

The Mivos follow their instrumental performance by welcoming to the stage the legendary spoken-word artist Saul Williams. The performer whom CNN calls “hip-hop’s poet laureate” developed his voice in the slam poetry crucible Nuyorican Poets Café before taking a leading role in the 1998 Sundance-winner Slam. He has since collaborated with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and published acclaimed collections of poetry. Williams’ work — an incendiary mixture of “firebrand politics with metaphysical wordplay” (AV Club) — is complemented and amplified by the Mivos Quartet.

The evening centers on Williams’ blistering poem NGH WHT, an exploration and demolition of stereotypes drawn from his 2006 book The Dead Emcee Scrolls. His words are set to music by German composer Thomas Kessler, who originally made his orchestration of Williams’ poem for the Arditti Quartet. (The Arditti appear at Duke Performances in April). The program also includes American composer Ted Hearne’s new setting of Williams’ poem The Answer to the Questions That Wings Ask, arranged for Williams and Mivos.
Presented as part of Duke Performances’ Hip-Hop Initiative, made possible, in part, with support from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation.

A part of Talking Music: Conversations with Scholars, Writers, Archivists, and Artists, co-sponsored by Duke Performances and the Forum for Scholars & Publics. This event is also sponsored by Left of Black: A Black Studies for a Mobile Digital Network; Center for Arts, Digital Culture & Entrepreneurship (CADCE); and The Power Plant Gallery. (The Power Plant Gallery is an initiative of the Center for Documentary Studies and the Master of Fine Arts in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University.)

  • Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 8:00pm