she who has no master(s)

She Who Has No Master(s) is a collective project of womxn writers of the Vietnamese diaspora who engage in collaborative, polyvocal, and hybrid-poetic works. Through a collaborative writing process and art engagement activities that reach across borders, this project endeavors to bring into concert the voices and experiences of women/womxn writers of the Vietnamese diaspora.

INHERITORS Reading Series, Likewise Art Bar, Portland OR, May 2016.
INHERITORS Reading Series, Likewise Art Bar, Portland OR, May 2016.

SWHNMs has published collaborative poetry and hybrid art short works in BOMB Magazine and AJAR Journal, and presented readings and poetry performance at Black Mountain Institute, SF Asian Art Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Reed College, American Library in Paris, and at the 2018 United States of Asian America Festival. In 2020, they held their first exhibition of poetry-artwork at the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Art Gallery in Salt Lake City. The collective is currently at work on an anthology of genre-defying works by contemporary Vietnamese and Vietnamese diasporic women writers.

Founded in 2015 as a project of DVAN (Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network) and led by co-founder and creative director, Dao Strom, the structure of this collective project continues to evolve and grow.

This program would not be possible without the generous sponsorship of Jade Vu Henry.

see works here →             about our structure →             

Thi Bui and Dao Strom working at Djerassi residency program

Mission & Methods

This collective was formed out of the recognition that as women and gender-nonconforming writers with roots from Vietnam, we do not always receive support from family, community, and society that is needed. In normative cultural narratives, ours are the voices most often silent, underrepresented, overlooked, at times erased, or appropriated. Our work as a collective seeks to break this mold. We create spaces where we nurture one another and ourselves via collaboration, listening, sharing resources, creating individually and together, presenting our writing and art on our own terms. We formed also around the impulse to explore – rigorously, uniquely, provocatively – what it means to define and undefine the “feminine” experience through a diasporic lens. We define writing as art that has storytelling at its core, but may express itself in hybrid, performance, visual, musical/aural, and interdisciplinary forms. We believe in using this multimodal format to challenge tendencies toward a dominant narrative or style, make our own “rules” for art and genre processes, and defy categorization. Our work honors the nuances of the individual at the same time it expresses the dynamic plurality of our diaspora and our experiences as womxn. It is key to our mission that we gather around and promote a politics of connection.

Who are we?

As a collective we present work as a multi-voiced, non-singular entity. Here is a list of writers whose “voices” have contributed to She Who Has No Master(s) to date :

Thi Bui – Comics Artist/Writer
Angie Chau – Writer
Lan Duong – Writer/Poet/Academic
Trinh Mai – Visual Artist
Anna Moï – Writer (France)
Vi Khi Nao – Poet/Writer/Visual Artist
Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen – Poet/Artist
Diana Khoi Nguyen – Poet/Multimedia Artist
Hoa Nguyen – Poet
Thao P. Nguyen – Performance Artist/Writer
Isabelle Thuy Pelaud – Writer/Artist/Scholar
Aimee Phan – Writer
Abbigail N. Rosewood – Writer
Dao Strom – Poet/Artist/Musician
Sophia Terazawa – Writer/Poet/Hybrid Artist
Nhã Thuyên – Poet/Writer/Artist/Academic (Vietnam)
Stacey Tran – Poet/Artist
Julie Thi Underhill – Writer/Poet/Filmmaker/Photographer

Publications/Exhibits

She Who Has No Master(s): “Would That”

Poetry Art Exhibit, Fall 2020, George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Art Gallery, Salt Lake City College. Curated by Diana Khoi Nguyen and Dao Strom. With: Angie Chau / Lan Duong / Vi Khi Nao / Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen / Diana Khoi Nguyen / Hoa Nguyen / Isabelle Thuy Pelaud / Aimee Phan / Abbigail N. Rosewood / Dao Strom / Sophia Terazawa / Stacey Tran / Julie Thi Underhill.
view exhibit online →
view exhibit chaplet →

A Recipe Chapbook for Desert/Durian Poetries

A collective chapbook with 3 voices. Printed in limited edition by Black Mountain Institute for the “She Who Has No Master(s): Food, Memory, Mythology” Event, Oct 2019. Authors: Vi Khi Nao, Dao Strom, Stacey Tran.

She Who Has No Master(s) “Food, Memory, Mythology” Poetry Presentation at Black Mountain Institute, Oct 2019.
She Who Has No Master(s) “Food, Memory, Mythology” Poetry Presentation at Black Mountain Institute, Las Vegas, Oct 2019. Photo courtesy of Black Mountain Institute.

“Love|Object|Treason”

A Multi-Voice Poem by She Who Has No Master(s), AJAR Journal, Issue 5: Song Song Parallel, October 2017. By Angie Chau, Lan Duong, Anna Moï, Hoa Nguyen, Thao P. Nguyen, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Aimee Phan, Dao Strom, Julie Thi Underhill.

“From My Mother I Inherited”

A Multi-Voice Poem by She Who Has No Master(s), BOMB Magazine, May 31, 2017. By Angie Chau, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Aimee Phan, Dao Strom, Stacey Tran, Julie Thi Underhill.
view work here →