Thomas Sayers Ellis (born Washington, D.C.) is a poet, photographer and band leader. He previously taught as an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Bennington College in Vermont, and also at Sarah Lawrence College until 2012.
He was raised in Washington, D.C. and attended Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. In 1988 he co-founded the Dark Room Collective in Cambridge, Massachusetts, an organization that celebrated and gave greater visibility to emerging and established writers of color. He is the leader and a founding member of the band Heroes are Gang Leaders. Ellis received his M.F.A. from Brown University in 1995.