wrong or right
now i know
so far away
till her last
“Traveler’s Ode“ from INSTRUMENT: by Dao Strom.
Published by Fonograf Editions on November 5, 2020.
Copyright © 2020 by Dao Strom.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Dao Strom is an artist who works with three “voices”—written, sung, visual—to explore hybridity and the intersection of personal and collective histories. She is the author of the poetry-art collection, Instrument (Fonograf Editions, 2020), winner of the 2022 Oregon Book Award for Poetry, and its musical companion, Traveler’s Ode (Antiquated Future Records, 2020). Other works include a bilingual poetry-art book, You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else (AJAR Press); a hybrid-form 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 lives in Portland, Oregon.
Read more information by visiting www.daostrom.com
167 pages long, Dao Strom’s Instrument is an experiment in multimodal poetics—inhabiting a synergistic blend of poetry, music, and visual art: the artist’s three forms of “voice”. Born in Vietnam and leaving the country at the age of two for Northern California, Strom’s life and work speaks to fragmentation—of/within selves, histories, cultures, groups of people, and places—yet within this configuring lies her art’s fluid mastery. Combining color photography, personal biography and gripping, restless poetry, Instrument represents a unique melding of literature and art. The poems are augmented by an album, Traveler’s Ode, of ambient and folk-tinged songs featuring ethereal assemblages of sung-poetry, vocal layering, spare guitar, piano, and field recordings. Traveler’s Ode is a collaborative release between Fonograf Ed. and Antiquated Future.
Instrument continues the author’s virtuosic exploration of identity, selfhood and refusal–of stasis, of forgetting, of falsity. The book furthers creative and historical material Strom first explored in her books You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else and We Were Meant To Be a Gentle People while simultaneously exploring new directions, modes and fragments.