Workshop: Protest Poetry

with Sally Wen Mao

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 7:00pm to Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:00pm
Asian American Writers' Workshop
112 W 27th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10001

Media Gallery

Four Sessions, 2 hours each (7-9pm)
Wednesdays August 9th, August 16th, August 23rd, August 30th

Fees & Payment Options:
$200 General / $180 AAWW Members (JOIN THE FAN CLUB!)
Full payment due before first class. Maximum of fifteen students.

Why you should take this class: Poet Sally Wen Mao, award-winning author of Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014), has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry 2013, BOMB Magazine, Poetry, and more. You can explore Lavender Town in The Margins and check out the feature in Bustle listing her as one of the best poetry debuts in the last five years. Sally Wen Mao invites you to re-invent language and to re-invent the familiar in this protest poetry workshop.

Class Description: We are living in a senseless political era. How do we react, as writers, artists, and citizens? Where do we channel our anger, our protest, our ideals – how do we do right by our art and our politics? In this workshop, participants consider the political poem and examine the ways to approach resistance through language, lyric, and form—in poetry or in lyric essays. Drawing from contemporary poets like Layli Long Soldier, Tommy Pico, Timothy Yu, Srikanth Reddy, Solmaz Sharif, and Claudia Rankine, we will examine over the course of several sessions the tools we can use to dismantle the powerful narratives that silence and oppress – and in that process, discover our own political voice. This course will include writing exercises and generative sessions as well as a workshop.

Questions? Contact Tiffany Le at

Sally Wen Mao is the author of OCULUS (Graywolf Press 2019) and Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014). She is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Poets & Writers, The Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, Kundiman, Jerome Foundation, and Bread Loaf Writers Conference, among others. Her poems have received a Pushcart Prize and published in Tin House, Poetry, Best American Poetry 2013, and A Public Space, among others.

?”?Linguistically dexterous and formally astute, Mao’s tight and textured debut ?[Mad Honey Symposium] ?conjures an absurd, lush, occasionally poisonous world and the ravenous humans and animals that travel through it. . . . With echoes of Glück and Plath, Mao generates stunning landscapes where the flora and fauna reflect her presence and strength of voice.?”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In Mad Honey Symposium, Sally Wen Mao offers delicious diction: ‘archipelago . . . arpeggios;’ ‘horntails / swarm the wax leaves;’ ‘Fetal and feral, we curl;’ ‘mouth on your pendulum;’ ‘in the rigmarole of lucky living—!’ She also offers a heightened attention to how words work and work out in various contexts. The poet takes us all over the place in time and geography—from her mother’s bed to Audubon’s dreams to sputnik to hive and back again—all in the service of feeling deeply. A lovely debut collection.”
—Kimiko Hahn

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