Esmé Wang’s strength as a speaker comes from her gift for finding beauty in unusual, and sometimes dark, places. She draws her listeners in with her openness and honesty, inviting us to share in her experiences through a wealth of small, telling details; she leaves us with a glow of hope, and a renewed confidence in our ability to face challenges of our own. — Julian Plumadore, Mental Health Association of San Francisco
My talks, above all, inspire resilience.
Whether I’m speaking to ten hopeful consumers at a mental health clinic, or to thousands of quirky folks working to change the world, my message is not just about my personal story, but about everyone’s story: there is nothing broken about us.
In 2014, I’ve given talks and conducted workshops at places such as the World Domination Summit in Portland, OR, the Summer Bridge Program in San Francisco, CA, and the Out of the Binders symposium in New York. I deliver talks around San Francisco as a member of the city’s anti-stigma speakers’ bureau, SOLVE.
I speak with enthusiasm. I dress for the occasion.
I bring my insights to your audience so that they can be inspired by, and learn from, my time onstage.
FROM THE VIDEO ABOVE: “If you feel like there’s something broken about you, that brokenness doesn’t have to be something that you ignore, or push to the side, or pretend isn’t there — but it also doesn’t have to be the only thing about you.”
I was lucky enough to be in the audience when Esmé Weijun Wang took the stage at The World Domination Summit. In that brief time, she educated the audience with a illuminating and thought-provoking speech on mental illness. Esmé doesn’t just speak about mental illness – she is the living embodiment of what is possible and how to live well no matter what hand you’ve been dealt. I was very moved by her strong yet vulnerable words and her shining presence. —Theresa Reed, The Tarot Lady
Esmé speaks from the heart from a place of true authenticity. Watching her on stage is captivating and inspiring. Her message is direct, yet inspiring, and was very powerful for me. I loved every second of her talk! — Toréa Rodriguez
— “Ass-Kicking with Limitations 101” — I speak about growing up as an ambitious overachiever, and the ways in which developing chronic illnesses has taught me to succeed despite limitations — with limitations being something that we all face at some time in our lives.
— “The Stigma of Mental Illness, The Role of Love” — Given as an informational and inspirational talk about stigma, I speak about developing mental health challenges, the reactions I’ve encountered, and how, in the end, it’s all about love.
— “Perdition Days: Being Dead for a Month & Finding Beauty” — In the winter of 2013, I developed a rare delusion that caused me to believe that I was dead. This talk is an inspirational story akin to tales of “near-death experiences,” addressing compassion and beauty — with an unusual twist.
MEDIA BIO: Esmé Weijun Wang is an award-winning author and advocate. At esmewang.com, she provides resources that assist aspiring and working writers in developing resilience on the path to building a creative legacy. Wang’s emphasis on resilience originates from her own experiences as a writer, having learned the importance of adapting to difficult times from living with schizoaffective disorder and late-stage Lyme disease. She studied creative writing and psychology at Yale and Stanford, and received her MFA from the top-tier Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan. The author of THE BORDER OF PARADISE (Unnamed Press, 2016), as well as the chapbook LIGHT GETS IN, Wang has written for Catapult, Hazlitt, Lit Hub, Salon, and Lenny, and been written about in the New Yorker Online, Fusion, and the New York Times. She delights in organizational tools, handwritten letters, and her home base of San Francisco. Find her e-letter, as well as the complimentary Creative Legacy Check-In, at esmewang.com/e-letter.
Do you work for a start-up that could use an eye-opening, inspiring look into so-called “limitations?”
Are you running a conference or retreat for which my work could add a bolt of white-hot light?
For more information, including current availability, please get in touch.
PAST & UPCOMING EVENTS
Summer Bridge Program, 7/1, San Francisco, CA
World Domination Summit, 7/11-7/13, Portland, OR
Chinatown Mental Health Clinic, 8/12, San Francisco, CA
Hazel Reading Series, 1/18, San Francisco, CA
San Francisco General Hospital, 8/21, San Francisco, CA
Women’s Freedom Conference, 10/25, online
Mills College, 2/23, Oakland, CA, panel on writing & publishing
AWP (panel and reading), 3/30-4/3, Los Angeles, CA
#BULLCON16, 9/18-9/21, Palm Springs, CA
PAST & UPCOMING WORKSHOPS
Out of the Binders: Symposium on Women Writers Today, 10/11-10/12, NYC, NY
“Online Self-Promotion (Without the Sleaze)”
Esmé is like the cool older friend who has the inside scoop on life plus always has gum in her purse. Her workshop felt both calming and energizing at the same time. When I left, I felt comfortably armed with practical tools but also like, ‘Hey, I want to go out and do this.’ — Lindsay Muscato, writer and performer at WRITE CLUB