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January 18, 2017


Sally Wen Mao

About This Poem


“When I moved to New York in 2014, I noticed a poster in many subway stations—the exhibition posters of the Exclusion/Inclusion show about the Chinese in America at the New York Historical Society. Anna May Wong, the Chinese American actress, was the face of these posters, but her name was not displayed prominently. It unnerved me that I recognized her immediately but most passersby likely didn’t know who she was, that in 2014 her face would still represent a vague concept of Chineseness, a conduit of this foreign ‘other.’”


Sally Wen Mao is the author of Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014) and Oculus, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in 2019. She is currently a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library.


Poetry by Mao


Mad Honey Symposium

(Alice James Books, 2014)

"My Dissent and My Love Are Woven Inside Me" by Wendy Xu


"Kissing in Vietnamese" by Ocean Vuong


"Tsunami Chant" by Wang Ping




Launched during National Poetry Month in 2006, Poem-a-Day features new and previously unpublished poems by contemporary poets on weekdays and classic poems on weekends. If you enjoy Poem-a-Day, please consider making a donation to help make it possible.