In 1996, Emanuel Xavier took the New York City spoken word scene by storm, quickly becoming one of the most significant voices to emerge from the neo-Nuyorican poetry movement. A painful past of sexual abuse at the hands of an older cousin, rejection by a devoutly religious mother, homelessness, and a life of prostitution and drug-dealing, are among some of the experiences that served as inspiration for the vibrant and emotionally raw poems for which Xavier became famous.
Pier Queen, released in 1997, was Emanuel's debut anthology, which included many of the poems that earned him the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam Championship. In 1998, he founded The House of Xavier, a collective of poets and artists, and created the annual Glam Slam competition which fuses the excitement of the ballroom scene with the energy of the spoken word movement with the support of ballroom legends such as Willi Ninja.
Other Emanuel Xavier works include the semi-autobiographical novel Christ-like (1999), Americano (2002) and Bullets & Butterflys (2005). Xavier has also appeared on Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry on HBO (Seasons 3 & 5), the Wolfgang Busch ballroom documentary, How Do I Look, Ski Trip and NBC's Law & Order.