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Skin, Inc.: Identity Repair Poems

4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  102 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 Ameri
Hardcover, 181 pages
Published August 31st 2010 by Graywolf Press
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Aug 11, 2012 Dave rated it liked it
I hesitate to give this a "3" rating, because it is clearly brilliant and comes highly recommended. That said, I found it very disorienting, abstract, and generally inaccessible on the whole. The section centered on Michael Jackson is stronger/more interesting to me, and there are some really insightful moments, but it didn't do it for me like I expected it to. I did read it on a plane primarily, so it could be partially my fault...
Dec 10, 2011 D.A. rated it it was amazing
Ellis' work is important not just for the poet's quick-change artistry and his inspiring repartee, but for the crucial critical lens he turns on American culture. An urgent and exhilarating book.
Lisa M.
Aug 10, 2011 Lisa M. rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I saw Thomas Sayers Ellis speak at a convention and found his beliefs about writing and race interesting, so I purchased this book. I am, after reading this book, confused. Some of these poems not only had compelling thoughts about race but were written very well-- Spike Lee at Harvard stands out, for example. Some were not only well written but extremely innovative--I have never seen of anything like The Pronoun-Vowels Reparation Song before. Great stuff! On the other hand, there was some work ...more
Craig Werner
Aug 08, 2012 Craig Werner rated it liked it
Second book blues. I loved Elli's debut, The Maverick Room, and in a sense I'm not fully comfortable with I came to the follow up looking for more of the same funky Washington D.C. vernacular poetics. That's not what TSE is living these days; he's become a successful figure in the contemporary academic poetry world, even if not on quite the terms he'd desire. He still listens to music, but from a greater distance. And he's clearly aware that Obama's election changes the terms of race in America, ...more
Oct 14, 2010 Diana rated it liked it
I received this book free through Goodreads and was excited to read it as I am with new books of poetry from authors I've never read before. Immediately I was drawn to brilliant look of the book--hardcovered, heavy-weight paper, and the carefully chosen in-style color choices, all things that would make me browse the book in a bookstore. The photo, however, left me with uncomfortable emotions--I must admit, at first, a twinge of repulsion for the androgeneous female (I think?)on the cover threat ...more
Mar 18, 2014 Chris rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the best book (of poetry) of the past 10 years. Hopefully, it will help shape 21st century poetry. It's certainly pointing to ways out of the late 20th century white-dominant anti-didactic "schools" (from so-called mainstream to so-called 'avant').
missy jean
Mar 19, 2014 missy jean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Inventive & political & unswerving poetry. My only regret is that--having heard TSE read before--I kept wishing I could hear all these poems read aloud. (Some of the poems seem to have been written for how they would look on a page, others for how they would sound in a voice--like in the "perform-a-form, photo-elegy with footnotes for feet work" that gives footnoted instructions on how each section of the poem should be performed, like: "This is the stanza to knock 'em dead but the page ...more
Roberto Garcia
Aug 14, 2012 Roberto Garcia rated it it was amazing
This book provides an education. If you are socio-racial-diversity-culture deficient then you should read this book. And if you're not you should read it too. It will leave you further confused but in a good way. It will help you realize what you don't know you don't know. I've read it several times and always find something new. Ellis operates on many levels as a poet and his poems contain layers upon layers. A great read.
Sep 29, 2014 Sam rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Guy's got a voice. A very dynamic voice. I like it. Sometimes the form got in the way of the enjoyment for me, but the styles employed are so diverse that there's always something to keep reading for.
Dec 23, 2010 Chanel rated it it was amazing
This is the book I was most excited about this year. A book that challenged and satisfied me beyond my expectations of it. Musically, intellectually and politically dazzling. A must-read.
Mar 08, 2014 T. rated it liked it
Between a 3-4 for me.
Feb 12, 2011 Adrian rated it it was amazing
An amazing book - a must read for all African Americans who wrestle with the concept of identity.
Christina Olivares
Aug 31, 2012 Christina Olivares rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
thomas is a genius. he's also a photographer: <3
Sep 04, 2011 Idris rated it it was amazing
this book is amazing
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