Conversations from the Cullman Center: Oculus: Sally Wen Mao and Jenny Xie

January 15, 2019

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Sally Wen Mao and Jenny Xie discuss Mao’s new poetry collection, Oculus, in which she explores exile not just as a matter of distance and displacement, but also as a migration through time and a reckoning with technology. 

Sally Wen Mao is the author of Mad Honey Symposium. Her work has won a 2017 Pushcart Prize and a 2016 Amy Award from Poets & Writers. Mao holds an MFA from Cornell University and has taught at Cornell, Hunter College, the National University of Singapore, the George Washington University, Poet’s House, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. She was the 2015-2016 Singapore Creative Writing Residency Writer-in-Residence and the 2017-2018 Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington at the George Washington University. She is currently a resident artist at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai. Mao completed Oculus during her Cullman Center Fellowship in 2016-2017.

​Jenny Xie is the author of the poetry collection Eye Level, which was a 2018 National Book Award Finalist, and the recipient of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. Her work has appeared in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and Tin House, among other publications. She is on faculty at New York University and lives in New York.