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.
In this powerhouse debut, Thomas Sayers Ellis in one poem 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 hip-hop becomes a bootlegged recording hustled out a DC go-go club. With its defiance for any one tradition or voice, Ellis's debut collection becomes a powerful argument against monotony-just when "All their stanzas look alike," just when language fails in the face of catastrophe, just when, as Ellis confesses, "the twin terrors at the center of the word dollar / have made me and my craft liar-cowards."
The Maverick Room introduces a brave, intelligent, and original new voice to American poetry.