University of Pittsburgh
December 20, 2000

SAUL WILLIAMS TO SPEAK IN HONOR OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 21 -- The University of Pittsburgh Black Action Society will present a lecture by Saul Williams, lead actor and screenwriter of the movie "Slam," to commemorate Martin Luther King Day on Monday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m., in the William Pitt Union Assembly Room. The presentation is free and open to the public.

On Sunday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m. in the WPU Assembly Room, the Pitt Program Council will screen "Slam," the story of a young man who "learns the power of the spoken word in a world seemingly void of poetry."

Williams, who has an M.F.A in drama from New York University, is an accomplished poet. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Bomb Magazine, Red Clay Magazine, and African Voices. He also has published in the anthologies "In Defense of Mumia," "Catch the Fire," "The Seventh Octave," and "She," the latter two being collections of his poetry.

In 1996, Williams became the Nuyorican Poet Cafe's Grand Champion, following in the esteemed footsteps of Reg E. Gaines, Paul Beatty, Maggie Estep, and Tish Benson. He also has represented the Nuyorican Poets Cafe at various events, including the Tongue-Tied Poetry Festival in Montreal, the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, the National Poetry Festival in Portland, Oregon, and the Best Poet Exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York.

Williams has shared the stage with such renowned artists as The Last Poets, Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, The Fugees, The Jungle Brothers, The Roots, and Erykah Badu.

For more information about the lecture, call the Black Action Society at 412-648-7880. For more information about the movie, call 412-648-7900.

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