News Releases

Ithaca College Hosts Reading by Award-Winning Poet and Photographer

 ITHACA, NY — Called by Publisher’s Weekly, “an extraordinary reader of his poems,” award-winning poet and photographer Thomas Sayers Ellis will read from his works at Ithaca College on Wednesday, Sept. 19. His 7:30 p.m. presentation in Clark Lounge, Egbert Hall, is free and open to the public.

In 2005, Ellis was honored with a Whiting Writers’ Award, which is presented annually to 10 emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and plays. His first full-length poetry collection, “The Maverick Room,” won the 2006 John C. Zacharis First Book Award. His second book, “Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems,” brings together lyric sequences and his own photographs in which he “traverses the African-American and American literary landscapes — along the way adding race fearlessness to past and present literary styles and themes.”

Ellis’s poems and photos have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Callaloo, Best American Poetry, Grand Street and The Nation. An assistant professor of creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College, in 1987 he cofounded the Dark Room Collective in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an organization dedicated to celebrating and giving greater visibility to emerging and established writers of color.

His presentation is part of the Distinguished Visiting Writers Series, sponsored by the Department of Writing in the School of Humanities and Sciences. For more information, visit or contact Catherine Taylor, associate professor of writing, at