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Instrument: Dao Strom & Alicia Jo Rabins

Sat, November 13 from 11:45 am - 12:45 pm PST
1111 SW Broadway Ave Portland, Oregon 97205

Dao Strom discusses her new multi-disciplinary project, Instrument/Traveler’s Ode with fellow poet, musician, teacher, composer, and filmmaker Alicia Jo Rabins.

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THIS EVENT IS LIVE, IN PERSON. TO PARTICIPATE, YOU MUST ATTEND IN PERSON; IN-PERSON EVENTS WILL NOT BE BROADCAST VIRTUALLY.

Please note: All attendees to the in-person Festival must show proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event date to attend. Mask must be worn in accordance with local mandates. Read more here.

About Instrument

Dao Strom’s Instrument/Traveler’s Ode 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, an interwoven series of textured, ethereal song-poems. Atmospheric yet weighted, minimalist yet lush, the album combines voice, electronics, piano, guitars, and field recordings to create a deeply emotive song-cycle that explores themes of displacement, diaspora, and hauntings.

“Both expansive and nano, Dao Strom’s Instrument is a type of reverse-engineered instrument in itself, capable of spotifying the reader’s and listener’s soul with the kind of tender, compassionate voyage that a sightseeing body with one foot in one country and the other dipped in the postmodern penmanship of memory could possibly roam.”
—Vi Khi Nao, author of Fish in Exile

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Dao Strom

Dao Strom is the author of the poetry collection, Instrument (Fonograf Editions, 2020), and its musical companion, Traveler’s Ode (Antiquated Future Records, 2020); 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 (Counterpoint Press) and Grass Roof, Tin Roof (Mariner Books). Her work has received support from the Creative Capital Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, NEA, and others. She was a 2020 Oregon Literary Arts Career Fellowship recipient. Born in Vietnam, Strom grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California and lives in Portland, Oregon. She is co-founder of two collective art projects, She Who Has No Master(s), and De-Canon.

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Alicia Jo Rabins

Alicia Jo Rabins is a poet, composer, performer and Torah teacher. Her most recent book of poetry is Fruit GeodeDivinity School, her first book of poetry, was selected by C.D. Wright for the APR/Honickman First Book Prize in 2015; her poems and personal essays have appeared in PloughsharesTin HouseTablet, and American Poetry Review. An internationally touring violinist and singer, Rabins is the creator and performer of Girls in Trouble, a feminist indie-folk song cycle about women in Torah, and has toured Central America and Kuwait playing fiddle music as a cultural ambassador for the US State Department. Alicia lives in Portland, OR with her partner and two children. She loves plants, ancient texts, and coffee.

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