Mad Honey SymposiumBook - 2014
"Like Sylvia Plath's poems, these visionary poems are not only astute records of experience, they are themselves dazzling, verbal experiences. Worldly, wily, wise: Mad Honey Symposium is an extraordinary debut."--Terrance Hayes
"[ Mad Honey Symposium ] has all the delicacy of [Mao's] earlier writing--but now there's also a gritty, world-wise sense of humor that gives her work heavyweight swagger."--Dave Eggers
Mad Honey Symposium buzzes with lush sound and sharp imagery, creating a vivid natural world that's constantly in flux. From Venus flytraps to mad honey eaters, badgers to empowered outsiders, Sally Wen Mao's poems inhabit the precarious space between the vulnerable and the ferocious--how thin that line is, how breakable--with wonder and verve.
From "Valentine for a Flytrap":
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .There's voltage
in your flowers--mulch skeins, armory
for cunning loves. Your mouth pins every sticky
body, swallowing iridescence, digesting
light. Venus, let me swim in your solarium.
Venus, take me in your summer gown.
Sally Wen Mao was born in Wuhan, China, and grew up in Boston and the Bay Area. She is a Kundiman fellow and 826 Valencia Young Author's Scholar. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Colorado Review , Gulf Coast , Hayden's Ferry Review , Indiana Review , Passages North , Quarterly West , and West Branch , among others. She holds a BA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from Cornell University, where she's currently a lecturer.