Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems

Thomas Sayers Ellis, Graywolf, $23 (176p) ISBN 978-1-55597-567-8
Ellis's highly anticipated second collection has a bit of everything: poems in an array of forms—a concrete poem meditating on the English vowels and money, an abecedarian list of "Black Writing" terminology, a photo essay shot at the James Brown memorial at Harlem's Apollo Theatre; prose poems; meditations on New Yorker covers; and lots more. Throughout, Ellis (The Maverick Room) makes a complicated, often contradictory critique of race relations in America; he has as many self-corrections to put into practice, "sucker-punching I," as he does punches aimed at others: "One of these badass/ glorious days,/ the signs and negative sounds/ that worked against us/ will all begin their tenures/ of service.../ It has already begun with/ ‘Nigger' and ‘Bitch.' " While much of his work would be right at home on a spoken-word stage—Ellis is an extraordinary reader of his poems—he feels deeply uneasy about the pigeonholing of black poetry, "as if the craft of our/ inherited calling had only/ two camps of Blackness,/ ‘Academic' and ‘Spoken Word.' " 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. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/26/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 181 pages - 978-1-55597-650-7
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.