Sally Wen Mao is the author of two poetry collections, OCULUS (Graywolf Press, forthcoming 2019) and Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014). She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman and the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars. Her work has been published in A Public Space, The Best American Poetry 2013, Poetry, Tin House and others. Her flash fiction has appeared in Guernica. She is the 2017-2018 Jenny McKean Moore Writer in Washington at George Washington University.
Sally Wen Mao
For October, we are excited to present prose from Sally Wen Mao, best known for her poetry. This one-of-a-kind piece is simultaneously a lyric essay, a fairytale, a piece of realist fiction and a history. Mao weaves these elements together — combining the history of foxhunting with a legend of a Korean empress with the story of a modern woman — to create a beautiful piece that speaks to the rage and sorrow of being a woman of color in a white man's world.
— Karissa Chen, Senior Literature Editor
For May, we bring you two poems by Sally Wen Mao. These two poems are part of a series of poems Mao has written, imagining Anna May Wong flying through history in a time machine, revisiting various points in history and meditating on how her life and career might have turned out differently. The poems are imaginative and heartbreaking, commenting on race and gender and conveying the longing and anger of a woman who yearned to transcend the boundaries of her time while highlighting to us the ways in which, perhaps, the world has really not changed all that much.