Musician, poet, painter, and preformance artist, Oliver Lake has created chamber pieces for the Arditti and Flux String Quartets; arranged music for Bjork, Lou Reed, and A Tribe Called Quest; and collaborated with poets Amiri Baraka and Ntozake Shange, choreogrphers Ron Brown and Marlies Yearby, and actress/author Anna Deavere Smith. He had done jazz-poetry collaborations with Huang Xiang since 2004.
Huang Xiang was imprisoned six times over 12 years in China and tortured for hiw work, which was completely banned. He has lived in exile in the United States since 1997. A bilingual edition of his selected poetry was published in 2003. In 2004 he became the writer-in-residence for City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, and he continues to live in Pittsburgh.
Guillermo Arriaga is a nobelist and screenwriter best known for his collaborations with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, such as Amores Perros and, most recently, Babel, which earned Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. His novels include The Night Buffalo, A Sweet Scent of Death, and The Guillotine Squad.
Saul Williams is the author of four collections of poetry: The Dead Emcee Scrolls, said the shotgun to the head, She, and The Seventh Octave. He has also made appearances on the shows Girlfriends and HRB's Def Poetry Jam.
Sam Shepard has written 45 plays, 12 of which have won Obie Awards. In 1979, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Buried Child. He is also an Oscar-nominated actor and winner of the Golden Palm Award at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival for his screenplay for Paris, Texas.
Patti Smith's album Horses was folowed by Radio Ethiopia, Easter, Dream of Life, Gone Again, and Trampin'. She is also an acclaimed poet and her publications include Witt, Babel, Wool-Gathering, The Coreal Sea, and Patti Smith Complete: Lyrics, Notes, and Reflections.