Thomas Sayers Ellis – Poet, Photographer, Professor

Celebrating National Poetry Month 2015

Thomas Sayers Ellis Photo: (Amtrak Restroom) by Thomas Sayers Ellis
Thomas Sayers Ellis Photo: (Amtrak Restroom) by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Poet and photographer, Thomas Sayers Ellis, was born and raised in Washington, D.C and is the author of The Maverick Room and Skin, Inc. (Graywolf Press). His poems have appeared in Callaloo, Poetry, Tin House, The Nation, The Paris Review and Best American Poetry (1997, 2001, 2010 and 2015). He is the recipient of the Mrs. Gilles Whiting Writers Award and his poem Vernacular Owl was awarded the prestigious Levinson Award (established in 1914) by Poetry Magazine. His solo exhibit (Un)Lock It: The Percussive People in the Go-Go Pocket was shown at The Gallery at Vivid Solutions (WDC) in 2011, and he was included in the Leica Gallery’s group show “DC As I See It” in 2013.

Ellis’ photographs have appeared in many magazines and on books covers––most recently on the cover of Road to Emmaus (Spencer Reece/FSG 2014). Ellis has recently been a Visiting Writer at Wesleyan University, the University of San Francisco, and the University of Montana. From 2013 to 2014, he worked as a photographer for Local Union 3342 in New York City, photographing slaughter houses and meat packers. The Art of Work is a collaborative collection (with poet Jennifer Fitzgerald) and will appear in 2016 from Noemi Press. Ellis was recently named Sterling Allen Brown Professor of English and Humanities for Spring 2015. Read more here:

Thomas Sayers Ellis is a founding member of Heroes Are Gang Leaders, a language-sound gathering of poets and musicians “in the” tradition. He divides his time between Brooklyn, New York and Washington, D.C. Web:

For more on Thomas Sayers Ellis, visit WIKIPEDIA

"Break Beat Poet" by Marcia Wilson
“Break Beat Poet” by Marcia Wilson

Below Feature: St. Mark’s Poetry Marathon 2015, Tribute to Amiri Baraka (Thomas Sayers Ellis, James Brandon Lewis (sax), Margaret Morris, and Michael Bisio (bass)


Love and Light for your Tuesday!

National Poetry Month commentary references: April 2014 (Scott Hastie, Amanda Johnston, Rebecca Villarreal, Nathan Peoples, Tracy Chiles McGhee, Alan King). April 2013 (Kwame Alexander, Joel Dias-Porter, Scott Hastie, Terry Spencer Edwards, Jarvis Talley)

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8 thoughts on “Thomas Sayers Ellis – Poet, Photographer, Professor”

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