Dao Strom

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Dao Strom is the author of the poetry collection, Instrument (Fonograf Editions), and its musical companion, Traveler’s Ode (Antiquated Future Records); a bilingual poetry-art book, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else (Hanoi: AJAR Press); a memoir, We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People, and song cycle, East/West; and two books of fiction, The Gentle Order of Girls and Boys, and Grass Roof, Tin Roof. Her work has received support from the Creative Capital Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, NEA, and others. Born in Vietnam, Strom grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California and now lives in Portland, Oregon. She is the co-founder of the writing-art collective, She Who Has No Master(s). Twitter/Instagram: @herandthesea

Color Swatch 0945: Treasure Seeker

What does it mean, to survive? To be “too” aestheticized? To be considered exempt from injury (harmless, invisible, dispensable), yet at the same time to invite injury, due to the object one’s body supposedly represents?

Editor’s Closing Notes: Currents

Over the past two years of editing diaCRITICS (and over the last decade of contributing to both DVAN and diaCRITICS), I’ve given much thought to the tensions between the individual and the collective, in particular to how this is weighted for a Vietnamese person in the diaspora, who must navigate multiple points of pressures, both internal and external, familial and societal.

‘Human is a Half-Open Being’: An Interview with AJAR Press

My hopes and questions for AJAR are not separate from my hopes and questions for the Vietnamese language in its survival from all violences of the past [I am pessimistic and not exaggerated] and in its encounters with the other’s languages.

Matt Huynh: Cabramatta

I was conscious that the readership would be much broader and unfamiliar with the historical and political context against which much of Cabramatta’s gangs emerged, became Australia’s heroin capital and infamously led to Australia’s first political assassination.

Editor’s Note: Looking Toward 2020

Two years ago this time I was preparing to assume the editorship of this blog, diaCRITICS, from Viet Thanh Nguyen, and having many thoughts...

Making A Case for the Interior Life of the Diaspora

It is only the failure of the American imagination and perception—a failure and inability to recognize and make space for the full imaginative agency of Vietnamese visions—that has perpetuated the notion of a dearth or naivety of art of the Vietnamese diaspora.

Never Go Away: Neustadt Prize Nominee Hoa Nguyen on Her Poetry

I never considered poetry as career and forever reject the corporate model to poetry. I never approached making art like that; I sought to be more like my dream: to remain a student to poetry and to be myself.

Appeasing the Spirits Along the ‘Highway of Horror’

On 1 July 1972 during the Easter Offensive two Vietnamese journalists, Ngy Thanh and Đoàn Kế Tường, used a heavily damaged railway bridge to cross the Bến Đá River, which bisects Highway One between the cities of Quảng Trị and Huế. What met them on the other side was a scene of carnage: many hundreds of civilian and military personnel corpses littered the highway, the result of an attack two months earlier.

[Prelude to] Appeasing the Spirits

Her research focuses not just on the events of the massacre, but on the civilian efforts—spearheaded by the independent newspaper Sóng Thần (which my mother and father were publishers and editors of)—to identify and bury the bodies of the dead in the aftermath of the event.