Chapbooks & Chaplets
- The Genuine Negro Hero
(kent state university press, 2001)
- from African-American Review
“Thomas Sayers Ellis lays out his aesthetic treatise in "The Genuine Negro Hero": "Of style," he states, "I can honestly write that I am only interested in mixed congregations--although I began my publishing career with narrative poems. That choice seemed most natural at the time, and allowed me to focus on some basic techniques like making imagery, making metaphor, punning, and irony. My day-one days in narrative also taught me to tell a story coherently, something all poets need regardless of their chosen style." Ellis's poetry imprints a literary territory that contains stories and sensibilities that linger beyond the reader's initial contact with the page. His poetry tells stories, not in predictable narrative forms, but in unique, ecliptic configurations imbued with fresh creative properties and realizable perceptual insights. The thematic range of the collection is directly and indirectly related to aspects of human vision and film.
"The Eye," an excerpt from The Body by Anthony Smith, is the preface, or perhaps the epigraph, for all the poems in this collection, as it provides the parameters of the poetry. The last line identifies the poet and his signature: "The patterns on an iris, of rays, rings, and spots, are highly individual and have been suggested as an alternative for fingerprint identification." The same could be said about poetry and style. In this first collection, Ellis marks his style in impressive and commendable ways."
Praise for The Genuine Negro Hero
“His best work is characterized by thoughtfulness, strong descriptive skills flavored with vivid turns of phrase, and emotional complexities in both the poems themselves and the effects they evoke.” —Boston Book Review”
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- Song On: a chaplet of 6 poems
(wintered press, 2005)
- Song On, by Thomas Sayers Ellis, offers six new poems that soar with inventive music and syntax.
Order from Wintered Press
- Take Three #1
(Agni Poet Series, Graywolf Press, 1996)
- Take Three is the first in an important annual series designed to launch the work of new poets.
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