Susan Somers-Willett

“'Poetry to Oversee the Dance Floor and the Streets': Saul Williams and the Hybrid Lyric"

Susan B. A. Somers-Willett is the author of The Cultural Politics of Slam Poetry: Race, Identity, and the Performance of Popular Verse in America (University of Michigan Press, 2009) and two award-winning books of poetry, Quiver and Roam. A veteran of the National Poetry Slam scene for over a decade, Somers-Willett studies the emergent popularity of spoken word poetry in twenty-first-century America, exploring the commercial ties between popular verse, mainstream media, and hip-hop music as well as the hybrid communities of artists and listeners they create. Her scholarship has been cited by The Globe and Mail, The Chicago Tribune, the Poetry Foundation, and The New York Times. Raised in New Orleans, Somers-Willett holds degrees from Duke University (B.A.) and The University of Texas at Austin (M.A., Ph.D.). She is currently an Assistant Professor of English and creative writing at Montclair State University.