Thomas Sayers Ellis was born and raised in Washington, DC. He is the author of Skin, Inc. (Graywolf Press, 2010), The Maverick Room (Graywolf, 2005) and The Genuine Negro Hero (Kent State University Press, 2001). Ellis is a Cave Canem faculty member and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College and in the Lesley University Low Residency MFA Program. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Grand Street, The Nation and Best American Poetry (1997, 2001 and 2010). He is the winner of the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, a Whiting Writers Award, and fellowships to the Fine Arts Work Center, MacDowell, Bread Loaf, and Yaddo. His photographs were featured in the Poetry Foundation’s DC Poetry Tour and Beltway Poetry Quarterly‘s It’s Your Mug Anniversary Issue.