Skin, Inc.: Book summary and reviews of Skin, Inc. by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Skin, Inc.

Identity Repair Poems

by Thomas Sayers Ellis

Skin, Inc. by Thomas Sayers Ellis X
Skin, Inc. by Thomas Sayers Ellis
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2010
    112 pages
    Genre: Poetry

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Book Summary

The ambitious, combative, and spot-on new poetry book by Thomas Sayers Ellis, author of the award-winning The Maverick Room

Naturally, this will scare
the civil rights out of some
and, for a mad-moment, empower
a great many wrong-cultured others.

from 'The Return of Colored Only'

Skin, Inc. is Thomas Sayers Ellis’s big, ambitious argument in sound and image for an America whose identity is in need of repair. In lyric sequences and with his own photographs, Ellis traverses the African American and American literary landscapes—along the way adding race fearlessness to past and present literary styles and themes, and perform-a-forming tributes for the Godfather of Soul, James Brown; the King of Pop, Michael Jackson; and the election of President Barack Obama. Part manifesto, part identity repair kit, part plea for poetic wholeness, this collection worries and self-defends, eulogizes and casts a vote, raises a fist and, often, an intimidating song. One sequence is written as a sonic/ visual diagram of pronouns and vowels; another quotes from editors’ rejections of his own poetry included in the book; another poem, "Race Change Operation,” begins: “When I awake I will be white, the color of law." Skin, Inc. is the latest work by one of the most audacious and provocative poets now writing.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This big book concludes with an amazing 35-page biography/elegy for Michael Jackson and the era through which he lived, and which he deeply affected. No doubt, this is a major book." - Publishers Weekly

"The first thing I hear are a strong tone and voice. It’s so distinct and it comes off the page. This poetry is clearly meant to be read aloud. ... These poems leap. There are jumping-with-sensation poems." - The Line Break - a poetry and wine blog

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Author Information

Thomas Sayers Ellis

Thomas Sayers Ellis is a poet and photographer. He is the author of a previous poetry book, The Maverick Room, and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the low-residency program at Lesley University. He lives in Brooklyn.

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