Niama Leslie Williams ("Beloved") is a poet and scholar concerned with the survival of all creatures, and this orientation influences her teaching of literature, creative writing and composition. She is a doctoral student in African American Studies at Temple University in Philadelphia, and adjunct faculty at West Los Angeles College. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Williams has degrees in comparative literature and professional writing from Occidental College and the University of Southern California.

In addition to attendance at Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Williams has participated in the Hurston/Wright Writers Week and Flight of the Mind. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers; Dark Eros: Black Erotic Writings, Spirit & Flame; Catch the Fire: A Cross-Generational Anthology of Contemporary African-American Poetry; and the new anthology Beyond the Frontier. Her poem "Lamentation" earned an Honorable Mention in the Writer’s Digest 2000 Writing Competition.

"I frequently do not err on the side of caution in my writing, but I believe in the purpose of it: to speak to the things others do not want to speak of, with the hopes of reaching that one woman, or her lover, or her friend, who refuses to deal with her pain, who hides from it, who doesn't think she'll survive it. That's the audience I hope to reach."