William Nu’utupu Giles is a fa'fafine second generation Samoan Immigrant, Poet, and Arts Educator born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their work has put them on stages ranging from the San Francisco Opera House to the Kennedy Center and into classrooms from the University of Papua New Guinea to Yale University. Will was featured in the HBO documentary Russell Simmons Presents: Brave New Voices, where they helped the Hawaii team win their first International Poetry Slam Championship; Will is also the first Pacific Islander to win the National Underground Poetry Individual Competition.
Will’s poetry finds the political seeds in personal stories and crosses oceans of immigrant identity, colonization, representation, and masculinity. Their work has been featured by NBC News, The National Parks Service, HBO, Bustle, LitHub, and Button Poetry.
In Hawaii they have spent the last 10 years working with Youth Speaks Hawaii and Pacific Tongues giving back to the organization and community that first gave them 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
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 Festival
2010 Contacting The World Festival (England)
2010 First Wave Touring Ensemble
2010 Kotuia (New Zealand)
2010 Urban Word Knicks Slam
2009 First Wave Scholarship Recipient
2009 Brave New Voices On Tour
2009 Sinangån-ta Poetry Finals (Guam)
2008 Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Champion
2008 Hawaii Youth Poetry Slam Champion