Over two decades since his death, Tupac is still widely considered to be one of the greatest rappers the world has seen. The Rose That Grew From Concrete, his posthumous poetry collection, remains his only published book, but it went on to form the basis for an album of his poems read out by celebrities and artists, while providing further evidence of his undeniable gift.

In this event chaired by journalist Jacqueline Springer, we bring together Poet Anthony Anaxogorou and musician Saul Williams to discuss Tupac’s work and reflect on the lasting influence of one of hip-hop’s greatest poets. Each performer will read a poem of their choice from the collection, following this with an original piece of their own, inspired by Tupac’s work.

About The Speakers

Anthony Anaxagorou headshot

Anthony Anaxagorou

Anthony Anaxagorou is a British-born Cypriot poet, fiction writer, essayist, publisher and poetry educator. His poetry has been published in POETRY, The Poetry Review, Poetry London, New Statesman, Granta, and elsewhere. His work has also appeared on BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio 4, ITV, Vice UK, Channel 4 and Sky Arts.  

His second collection After the Formalities published with Penned in the Margins is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for the 2019 T.S Eliot Prize along with the 2021 Ledbury Munthe Poetry Prize for Second Collections. It was also a Telegraph and Guardian poetry book of the year.  

In 2020 he published How To Write It with Merky Books; a practical guide fused with tips and memoir looking at the politics of writing as well as the craft of poetry and fiction along with the wider publishing industry. 

He was awarded the 2019 H-100 Award for writing and publishing, and the 2015 Groucho Maverick Award for his poetry and fiction. In 2019 he was made an honorary fellow of the University of Roehampton. Anthony is artistic director of Out-Spoken, a monthly poetry and music night held at London’s Southbank Centre, and publisher of Out-Spoken Press.

His forthcoming poetry collection Heritage Aesthetics will be published by Granta in 2022. 

Saul Williams

Saul Williams has been breaking ground since his debut album, Amethyst Rock Star, which was released in 2001. After gaining global fame for his poetry and writings at the turn of the century, Williams has performed in over 30 countries and read in over 300 universities, with invitations that have spanned from the White House to the Sydney Opera House.

About The Chair

Jacqueline Springer

Jacqueline Springer a London-based broadcast music journalist & university lecturer. She currently teaches media, culture & music sociology courses at Syracuse & Fordham universities. Jacqueline also contributes to arts output on the BBC and the festival circuit, exploring contemporary black music, identity, culture(s) and media representation.