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Saul Williams, Greenville, S.C. 3/16/06

by: Saul Williams

Saul Williams
Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Greenville, S.C.
March 16, 2006

Saul Williams is a genius. He’s not only one of our greatest living poets, but also an amazing live performer, musician, and actor. We first discovered Saul after out son at College of Charleston phoned to tell his mother all about this amazing speaker he’s seen at the University Union. he told us to rent the movie “Slam,” which we promptly did. It was the beginning of a true appreciation of a great artist.

We featured an interview that Jill did with Saul in our summer 2004 print issue of Gritz, and have since collected all of his books, as well as his CD “Amythest Rock Star.”

Saul was in Greenville opening for Nine Inch Nails at the Bi-lo Center. He has been touring the country with the hard rocking band, sometimes visiting bookstores to sign and read from his latest book, “The Dead Emcee Scrolls.”

The original planned time for the Barnes & Noble visit was 2:00 PM, but when we showed up at the bookstore, we found an apologetic sign on the front door stating that the signing had been delayed until 5:00PM. As it happened, a bunch of us showed up at 5:00, only to discover that Saul’s bus was late, and the signing was not going to happen. Happily, just a few minutes later we received word that Saul was going to come to the store directly after his performance that evening. he would be there at about 8:30PM.

It was worth the wait. After greeting the fans, many of which had been following the tour around the country for weeks, Saul launched into a memorized recitation of “1987” from his new book. He took questions, told great stories and recited from his book “Said The Shotgun To The Head.” It was really fun watching the passers by react to his loud, passionate readings and percussive stylings, which peaked with a firey reading from “NGH WHT,” another excellent poem that addresses his usual subjects of choice - hip hop, equality, mythology, astrology, all peppered with expletives and thought provoking imagery.

After over an hour of entertaining us, Saul took the time to meet one on one with each of us, sign books and “kiss babies.” I had wanted to meet the man for over two years and it was well worth the wait. An excellent reading by an absolute, one of a kind, writer, actor, and entertainer.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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