Video: Poet Thomas Sayers Ellis Reads at Cave Canem 2012

by Sampsonia Way    /  August 22, 2012  / 1 Comment

Poem locations: 'My Meter is Percussive' (0:00), 'All Their Stanzas Look Alike' (1:42), 'Or' (4:33), 'Godzilla's Avocado' (5:47), 'Gone Pop' (8:37), 'Sonic Personality' (11:00)

On June 21, Cave Canem, in partnership with City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, presented a free reading on Pittsburgh’s Monterey Street where Thomas Sayers Ellis read, along with poets Angela Jackson, Nikky Finney, and Terrance Hayes.

Thomas Sayers Ellis

Poet Thomas Sayers Ellis. Photo: Renne Rosensteel

Thomas Sayers Ellis is the author of two full-length collections of poetry, including Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems (Graywolf, 2010) and The Maverick Room (2005), winner of a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers’ Award and the John C. Zacharis First Book Award. He is the author of The Good Junk (Take Three #1, Graywolf 1996); The Genuine Negro Hero (Kent State University Press, 2001), a chapbook; and the chaplet, Song On (WinteRed Press, 2005).

His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Poetry, Grand Street, Tin House, Ploughshares and The Best American Poetry, 1997 and 2001. Co-founder of The Dark Room Collective, he has received fellowships and grants from The Fine Arts Work Center, the Ohio Arts Council, Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony.

He is a contributing editor to Callaloo and Poets & Writers, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Sarah Lawrence College and a faculty member of The Lesley University low-residency M.F.A program as well as a Cave Canem faculty member.

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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One Comment on "Video: Poet Thomas Sayers Ellis Reads at Cave Canem 2012"

  1. Bonita Penn August 27, 2012 at 8:36 pm ·

    I love the way he dissects each word in his poems and pulls you into them. I also had the opportunity to interview Thomas before this performance, it was like being in a hurricane of words and images and I hung on to his knowledge of literary craft like it was my life raft. I am still dizzy from the interview, one of my best. Not dizzy from the amount of information he shared, but from the amount I wanted to soak up in my mind, for the chance to hold on to being in his presence. Great summer poetry reading.

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