Join us for an evening of poetry with Sally Wen Mao, Jennifer Tseng, and Ocean Vuong to celebrate the release of Sally Wen Mao’s new poetry collection Oculus. Through poetry and fiction, through experimentation with form and genre, the work of these writers complicates our understanding of nationality and place by considering all that goes into their construction – technology and spectacle, translation and language, trauma and war.
Sally Wen Mao is the author of a previous poetry collection, Mad Honey Symposium. Her work has won a Pushcart Prize and fellowships at Kundiman, George Washington University, and the New York Public Library Cullman Center. Her latest collection, Oculus, explores exile not just as a matter of distance and displacement, but as a migration through time and a reckoning with technology. At the heart of the collection is the voice of international icon and first Chinese American movie star Anna May Wong, who travels through the history of cinema with a time machine, even past her death and into the future of film, where she finds she has no progeny.
Jennifer Tseng is the author of three award-winning poetry collections; a collection of flash fiction, The Passion of Woo and Isolde, a Firecracker Award finalist and winner of an Eric Hoffer Book Award; and a novel, Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness, finalist for the PEN American Center’s Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the New England Book Award. Visiting Writer at OSU-Cascades, Tseng lives on Martha’s Vineyard.
Ocean Vuong was born in Saigon, Vietnam, and currently resides in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he serves as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at Umass-Amherst. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Night Sky With Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. His debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous will be published by Penguin Press in 2019.
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.