Poetry + MULTIMEDIA + Collaborations + PROSE


I’ve memorized
every promise

that was

on that night




a bilingual hybrid poetry excerpt in THE MARGINS (10 Jul 2018)


You will always be someone from somewhere else

Mình sẽ luôn là người nọ đến từ nơi nọ.

*(an English-Vietnamese bilingual excerpt with translation by Ly Thuy Nguyen)


<                                                   >

< break the silence >
                      < tell them what went wrong           
                                                                                                        at the breaking of our new dawn >

       < we once were kin          breathed of the same skin >


                                     ...              < oh my sisters    have they forgotten me? >             ...


Hunger  [Tendernesses In]

image-text sequence appearing in THE TENDERNESS PROJECT, curated by poets Shayla Lawson & Ross Gay (10 Jun 2018)


history has such heavy


history has so many




You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else 

an art excerpt of photography + poetry fragments in THE OFFING (23 Mar 2018)




On the eve of the anniversary we came down from the mountain-house. The taxi driver who took us back to the city had a tattoo on his wrist, it read: “1975.”



Vào cái đêm kỷ niệm chúng tôi xuống từ ngôi nhà trên núi. Người lái taxi đưa chúng tôi trở về thành có một hình xăm trên cổ tay, đọc lên: “1975.”

* with translation by Ly Thuy Nguyen




a poem in text and video in POETRY NORTHWEST (Oct 30 2017)

++ nominated for a PUSHCART PRIZE IN POETRY 2018 ++



Words + Voice: Dao Strom
Video: Roland Dahwen Wu
Ambient Sound: Barry Brusseau

(                                                   )

flowers die   flowers recur

in some instances you must surrender to
navigate    it is a navigation of (im)-
passive capacities ...


Love | Object | Treason

a collaborative poem by She Who Has No Master(s) / published in AJAR Journal, Issue 5: "Song Song | Para||el" (Oct 2017)

+++ nominated for The 2018 HAWKER PRIZE for SOUTHEAST ASIAN POETRY +++


A trilingual poem (English, French, Vietnamese) by She Who Has No Master(s), a collective of women and gender-nonconforming writers of the Vietnamese diaspora.
It always begins something like this, with the attempted placement of one mouth over another ....


Aimee Phan / Angie Chau / Anna Moï / Dao Strom / Hoa Nguyen / Isabelle Thuy Pelaud / Julie Thi Underhill / Lan Duong / Thao P. Nguyen // translators: Genève Chao / Quan Tran


A multi-voice poem by She Who Has No Master(s), a collective of women and gender-nonconforming writers of the Vietnamese diaspora.

She prays to some god and so do I; we wear a thin piece of gold and we trust the knife we hold in our hand ....


Aimee Phan / Angie Chau / Dao Strom / Isabelle Thuy Pelaud / Julie Thi Underhill / Stacey Tran

black rectangle.png

in this world
i enact separation
for the sake of spelling
the exposure  
the distance (unsung
textures) between
& mine ....


"HEART"  "CARAPACE"  "Treasure Seeker"  "Externalia"  (Four Micro-Poems)

Four Micro-Poems published in THE OFFING (Aug 2016)


We are Evidence. Evidence of truth. Evidence of strength. Evidence of the country. ....





it’s the sound of passing but
never touching ....



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 and 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 conducted by Vi Khi Nao published in 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? ...'


IN CONVERSATION WITH VIET THANH NGUYEN: ON DIASPORA & CULTURE AS PLURALITY : Interview with diaCRITICS founder-publisher Viet Thanh Nguyen, 15 Feb 2018

This is 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/reflection for PICA Blog on Korean American shamanic performance artist Dohee Lee at TBA: 17 (Time-Based Art Festival), 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. ...


"Out of the Margins" - Launch of Literary Series on diaCRITICS.org (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. ...

"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.