William Nuʻutupu Giles is an afakasi Samoan writer and arts educator from Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. They have performed poetry on stages across North America including the San Francisco Opera House, John F. Kennedy Center, and Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre. Will has facilitated poetry workshops across Oceania in Papua New Guinea, Guåhan, and Aotearoa. They were featured in the HBO documentary Russell Simmons Presents: Brave New Voices, where they helped the Hawaiʻi team win it's first International Poetry Slam Championship. Will is also the first Pacific Islander to win the National Underground Poetry Individual Competition.
Will’s poems dig for the political seeds in personal stories. Their work connects contemporary poetry with the Oral Traditions of Polynesian genealogy and crosses oceans of immigrant identity, colonization, representation, and masculinity. Will’s work has been featured by NBC News, The National Parks Service, HBO, Bustle, LitHub, and Button Poetry.
At home they have spent the last 10 years working with Youth Speaks Hawaiʻi, giving back to the organization and community that helped them develop a voice. They have served as a Poet Facilitator, Assistant Outreach Coordinator, and Workshop Coordinator. Will lives for the moment of firsts in a blooming poet's eyes. The first line, first draft, and the first time someone opens their mouth and believes in the power of their own story.
Awards & Featured Performances
2018 Until Name Becomes Prayer Tour
2016 Hawaii Poetry Slam Champion
2015 National Underground Poetry Individual Champion
2015 National Poetry Slam Finalist
2015 Last Words First Songs Tour
2014 National Poetry Slam Semi Finalist
2014 Kundiman Fellowship
2014 Madang Walsolwara Dance (Papua New Guinea)
2012 First Wave Touring Ensemble
2011 Linebreaks Theatre Festival
2010 Contacting The World Festival (England)
2010 First Wave Touring Ensemble
2010 Kotuia Youth Summit (Aotearoa)
2010 Urban Word Knicks Slam Finals
2009 First Wave Scholarship Recipient
2009 Brave New Voices On Tour
2009 Sinangån-ta Poetry Finals (Guåhan)
2008 Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Champion
2008 Hawaii Youth Poetry Slam Champion