As the title suggests, Sally Wen Mao investigates the acts of seeing and being seen in Oculus (Graywolf Press, 2019), her second book of poetry. In the New Yorker, Dan Chiasson called Oculus a "strange and morally succinct" book and described her poems as "rangy, protean, contradictory." Sounds like faint praise, but with this book, Mao is using all those tools—which can be delightful and kinetic in poetry—to complicate the pristine pictures of life that fill our social-media feeds.
by Rich Smith
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