2022 Winner of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry
by Dao Strom
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 and piano, and field sounds from sources such as rivers, sea, jungle, birds. Traveler's Ode is a collaborative release between Fonograf Ed. and Antiquated Future.
The Oregon Book Awards are presented annually by Literary Arts, Inc. for the finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in the genres of Fiction, Poetry, Literary Nonfiction, Drama, and Young Readers Literature. Listed here are the winners in the Poetry category.