Dao Strom speaks to Lauren Kershner about You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else, her bilingual poetry-art book: “I play with fragmentation to play with the notions of framing and re-framing and also failing to frame—refusing to frame—events or memories. Sometimes I let pictures fall off the page or leave out definitive information also because this is how I feel about narrative—I don’t believe the whole story can ever really be told, or can fit on the page.” …

INTERVIEW ON THE STEER, released 22 Jan 2019

Dao Strom in conversation w/ Jeff Alessandrelli for The Steer, a literary podcast talking music with writers and writing with musicians. Dao talks with Jeff about learning to play music in Iowa City, how she maintains her creativity from project to project, Cat Power, why people are occasionally surprised by her love of folk and country music, and her latest projects.

HYBRID INHERITANCES: A Conversation with David Palumbo-Liu & Dao Strom published in THE MARGINS, 8 Nov 2018

Dao Strom: ‘There is a lot I can ruminate on about distrust—of language, of dominant narratives, of the “mythologies” that come to inform our stories about ourselves or where we come from—especially in regards to the “mythologies” about Vietnam through the lens of America. Maybe as a natural response to this distrust, and to the seeking or undermining that it wants, my creative process has tended toward ambiguity and the middle-spaces.’ … 


Interview with Dao Strom, conducted by David Naimon for his podcast Between the Covers, on the release of You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else | Mình sẽ luôn là người nọ đến từ nơi nọ, a book of bilingual poetic fragments (translated to Vietnamese by Ly Thuy Nguyen).

“THE HELICOPTER & THE PILOT: Contemplating April 30th” : Essay for diaCRITICS, 30 Apr 2018

The photograph at the top of this post, of the helicopter and the pilot, I have returned to it time and again, because for me it represents the Vietnamese identity being both dissolved and made possible, in a single frozen image. The pilot has jumped out of the helicopter, and both bodies are posed in midair moments before they will descend each into the sea. … The identity of a nation in free-fall. …

2018 ///\/\/// BEYOND : Editor's Note for diaCRITICS, 1 Mar 2018

...the word diaspora: I will say I favor this word because it locates itself within the tenuousness of identity, within its changing-ness, in the middle of the action of going out from one place to another while carrying within one 'spora' (the etymology of which connects to “scattering, sowing” as well as “sprout”) from the originating point. ... diaspora adheres to no geography, diaspora carries its place-ness, as well as its across-ness, its possible seed-ness, within the word itself.

DAO STROM IN CONVERSATION WITH VI KHI NAO : Interview by Vi Khi Nao, ASTER(IX) Journal, 18 Feb 2018

(from Vi Khi Nao): 'Where do I begin to introduce you to Dao Strom? Do I begin with her seduction with sound? The sultry provocation with her own vocal cord or instrumental cord, let’s say guitar? Or her irresistible, indestructible arrangement of images? ...'


A conversation interview conducted by Dao Strom, new editor of diaCRITICS, with Viet Thanh Nguyen, author, founder and publisher of diaCRITICS. ... VTN: ‘The real opportunity with a double burden is not to try and pretend that it doesn’t exist…but to invent an art that’s strong enough to carry that double burden.’

DE-CANONIZING: "VIETNAM" IS A 7-LETTER WORD : Blog Post for De-Canon, Nov 10 2017

An essay gathering Vietnamese American responses to the Ken Burns' PBS documentary on 'The Vietnam War'.

DOHEE LEE’S MU/巫 : REVERBERATIONS OF THE SINGING BODY : Art Review for TBA:17 (Time-Based Art Festival), PICA Blog, Oct 19 2017

A woman in white walks down a New York City sidewalk. Her dress is a construction of paper strips, fragments layered into a plumage, each strip inked in Korean script. The woman is Korean. As she walks she performs a ritual that involves waving red paper. She moves down the street toward a building. A building with an alleyway. ... 

"Dao Strom's Seven Works of Hybridity" : Essay for VELA Magazine's Bookmarked Column

Hybridity is a way of saying we are neither this nor (completely) that; at the same time we are this AND we are that, maybe even that other that, too. And it’s all subject to change. We might dissolve or evolve any boundaries. We will not stay put where you think you’ve safely placed us, named us, tried to corral us. Neither this, nor that. Neither of here nor there, wholly.

"Iowa Pastoral" : Essay in GUERNICA

... In short: the reason he had decided not to attend any more of her classes was because she had demonstrated herself unable to place him, due to her perception of the color of his skin, anywhere in the context of Western art....

"Triangulations from the Diaspora: Childhood" : Experimental/Image-Text Essay in NUMERO CINQ


"[Fragments from the Encyclopedia of Censorship]" : Essay in MINOR LITERATURES

 It was during my time studying creative writing at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the mid-1990s that I stumbled on the one essay I’ve found written in English that acknowledges the contributions of the “Five She-Devils” — five boundary-challenging women writers — to the literature of South Viet Nam. My mother was one of these five. ...

"(notes) from the other shore" : Essay in 3:AM MAGAZINE

Language – from the very point we attempt to codify, capture, call it our own, or insist via our version of it — becomes potentially unreliable. The same event, traumatic movements of people on either side of a forming chasm, no matter how you choose to frame it, has no one definitive name. Can really and truly be given no name. Because maybe there are no words for it.

 "OUT OF THE MARGINS" : Launch of Literary Series on (Dao Strom, Series Editor)

The reality of a cultural identity is complex and contradictory, no doubt. Yes, we are/were of that wound; and yes, too, we are so much more than you have been willing to see, of that wound, from it, beyond it, aside from it. So the goal here really is simple: to enter into the stream of American literature, art and culture as we are — no less, no more, and all. To make a space where the full nuance and scope of our experiences, imaginations, and perceptions may have their place. ...