Sally Wen Mao

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Sally Wen Mao is a Chinese-American poet.


  • I would want a dreaming machine that dreams up the most beautiful dreams and then show me exactly how to make them a reality…This is the eternal conundrum: the visualization of desires (dreams), and then the dissonance between that and reality.
  • The ambiguity when the performance of self becomes self-destructive, or when performance of self becomes pathological. That gray area interests me as a poet because it’s so wrapped up in everyday life now that it’s almost mundane. So much of this performance is tied to feelings of worth and value; in essence, it becomes ongoing, an entire existence all on its own…
  • Visibility is not enough—we need actual complexity. Visibility can quickly turn into invisibility when the stories that make us visible actually reduce our humanity and complexity. This is especially true if we prop up token stories—tokenism is a big problem when it comes to the film industry—or any industry…

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