We are looking forward to participating in the Community Arts Partnership’s Spring Writes literary festival again this year with a program on Thursday, May 2 featuring Saltonstall alumna, poet Sally Wen Mao (’14), and special guests Alex Chertok and Benjamin Garcia. 

We hope you’ll join us for the following event.

A Reading and Q&A featuring poet Sally Wen Mao (’14) with special guests Alex Chertok and Benjamin Garcia





Sally Wen Mao (’14) is the author of Oculus, out now from Graywolf Press on January 15th, 2019. Oculus has been featured or reviewed by Nylon, The Washington Post, Lit Hub, NPR, Vulture, O Magazine, The Millions, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Poets&Writers, and The New Yorker, among others.

Her first book, Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014), was the winner of the 2012 Kinereth Gensler Award, a Poets & Writers Top Ten Debut of 2014, and a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Anticipated Pick of Fall 2014.

Her work has won a 2017 Pushcart Prize and a 2016 Amy Award from Poets & Writers. Her poems are anthologized in The Best of the Net 2014 and The Best American Poetry 2013. Recent poems are published or forthcoming in A Public Space, Poetry, Black Warrior ReviewGuernicaThe Missouri Reviewand Tin House, among other journals. Her fiction can be found in PEN America and Hyphen Magazineand her essays are published or forthcoming in Rookie On LoveLENNY, The Kenyon Review, and other spaces.

The recipient of fellowships and scholarships from KundimanBread Loaf Writers ConferenceJerome FoundationHedgebrookVermont Studio Center, and Saltonstall Foundation, Mao holds an M.F.A. from Cornell University. She has taught writing classes and workshops at Cornell UniversityHunter College, the National University of SingaporeThe George Washington UniversityPoet’s House, and the Asian American Writers Workshop, among others. She was the 2015-2016 Singapore Creative Writing Residency Writer-in-Residence, a 2016-2017 Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library, and the 2017-2018 Jenny McKean Moore Writer-in-Washington at the George Washington University. Most recently, she was a resident artist at the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai.

Alex Chertok has work published in The Kenyon Review Online, The Missouri Review, The Cincinnati Review, Third Coast, Copper Nickel, and Best New Poets 2016, among others.


He was runner-up in the North American Review’s 2019 James Hearst Poetry Prize, and completed his MFA degree at Cornell University, where he was also a Lecturer. He currently teaches at Ithaca College and through the Cornell Prison Education Program.

Benjamin Garcia works in HIV/HCV/STD and opioid overdose prevention in the Finger Lakes region of New York.


He had the honor of being the 2017 Latinx Scholar at the Frost Place, 2018 CantoMundo Fellow at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and winner of the 2018 Puerto Del Sol Poetry Contest. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in: American Poetry Review, Missouri Review, New England Review, Best New Poets 2018, Palette Poetry, and Boston Review. Find him on twitter: @bengarciapoet

Reading Time & Location

Date: Thursday, May 2

Time: 5-6:30pm

Location: Buffalo Street Books in downtown Ithaca


The bookstore is located one block from the Commons in the Dewitt Mall (same building as the Moosewood Restaurant.) The main entrance is on Buffalo Street, next door to Greenstar Oasis, and across the street from Dewitt Park. (See map below)