The Maverick Room (Paperback)


By Thomas Sayers Ellis

Graywolf Press, 9781555974145, 120pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2005

List Price: 15.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


With its defiance for any one tradition or voice, Thomas Sayers Ellis's debut becomes a powerful argument against monotony

A dream. A democracy. A savage liberty.
And yet another anthem and yet another heaven
and yet another party wants you.
Wants you wants you wants you.
—from "Groovallegiance"

In one poem, Thomas Sayers Ellis prognosticates, "Pretty soon, the Age of the Talk Show / Will slip on a peel left in the avant- gutter." The result is The Maverick Room, the testing ground of determination and serendipity, where call-and-response becomes Steinian echo becomes Post-Soul percussive pleasure becomes a bootlegged recording hustled out of a D.C. go-go club.

About the Author

Thomas Sayers Ellis was born and raised in Washington, D.C. His work has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, and in Take Three: 1. He currently teaches at Case Western Reserve University and lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Praise For The Maverick Room: Poems

“This linguistic tome maps the segments of the district, the nation's capital. These quadrants condition the self, an inward geography: riffs, nicknames, the cunning fragments constructed from the language of pop art, hip-hop, the threshold of family, the death of the father, the sustenance and strength of the mother, the testimony of the son. Thomas Sayers Ellis is tour guide: his poetry is about the neighborhood, native speech, a probing intellect, innovative prosody, experimental wit, a parlance of the street, gardens and maps, the upper and lower frequencies as registry of song.” —Michael S. Harper