Writers from Burma

Burma
1994
U Win PE
Burma
1996
Tin Maung Than
Burma
1998

U Pe Myint (fiction writer, Burma/Myanmar; born 1949, Rakhine State, Myanmar) has published over twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, and translated works, including, among many others, Those Who Sell "Things" for Human Use and other stories, winner of the 1995 National Literary Award. Some of his other original and translated works include On Death and other short stories (1993), Normal Mind and Normal Behaviour (a collection of articles on Applied Psychology, 1993), Ward Number Six (translation 1977, original by Anton Chekhov) and First Love (translation 1988, original by Ivan Turgenev). Mr. U was educated in medicine at the Institute of Medicine in Yangon, and in journalism at the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in Bangkok. He worked as a medical practitioner for 11 years, and now serves as editor for two publishing houses, Sarpaylawka Bookhouse and Myanmar Book Publishing House. His participation in the IWP is supported by the IWP. His name is pronounced /oo/ /pay/ /myent/.

Burma
2000

Nu Nu YEE (novelist, Burma; born 1957, Innwa) made her literary debut with the short story "A Little Sarong" in 1984, and has gone on to write over a dozen novels and four collections of short fiction and long short stories. Her first novel A Timid "What Can I Do for You" is a study of market vendors in Upper Burma, and her subsequent works have explored the lives of women, children, and urban and industrial workers in Myanmar. Her 1993 novel Emerald Green Blue Kamayut, depicting the urban poor, received Myanmar's National Literary Award. Her work has been put to the service of her country's most pressing societal needs; a play she wrote for the nongovernmental Population Service Centre in 1996 popularizes the use of iodine salt for goiter problems. Ms. Yee conducts lecture tours all over Myanmar. Her works have been translated into Japanese and English. She hold a BS from the University of Mandalay and a diploma in librarianship from the University of Yangon. She is taking part in the IWP through a grant from the Burma Project of the Open Society Institute. She writes under the name Nu Nu Yiy Inwa.

Burma
2001

U Thu Maung, also known as U Bala (fiction writer, Burma; b. 1951, Yangon) has written 32 novels, and numerous short stories and articles. He received the Mandalay literary award for ìMy Fatherís Motherî in 1999. The son of Burmese film director U Tha Du, Thu Maung has starred in 43 films and won Burmaís Academy Award for best actor in 1990; he has also directed five films. He embarked on a career as classical singer in 1975, and added pop music to his repertoire, becoming well known. He earned a degree in Diesel Engineering. Since 1996 he has devoted all his time to writing.

Burma
2001

Khin Lay NYO. MBBS (b. 1953, Taunggyi) is public relations officer and content specialist of the Behavioral Change Communications Department for Population Services International in her country, and is an ophthalmologist by training. An author since 1979, Dr. Nyo has written more than a hundred short stories, articles, and poems, and published 25 novels. She has successfully broached highly sensitive subjects such as AIDS, using her novels as vehicles for incremental change in public awareness. The US Department of State is supporting her residency.

KYAW ZWA
Burma
2002

KYAW ZWA (Burma b. 1946, Mandalay) through more than twenty novels has made Burmese history and Buddhist culture come alive for Burma’s younger generations. His novelization of the “Ramayana”—in which the villain Dasigiri becomes the protagonist—is regarded as a classic. Chit Oo Nyo (U Kyaw Zwa’s pen name) is working on a novel about an 18th century member of the Royal Court, U Po Hlain, a figure known for his radical ideas. U Kyaw Zwa is participating courtesy of the U.S. Department of State.

Burma
2003 Resident

MAUNG Swan Yi (b.1939, Kansint) (U Win Pe) won the National Literary Prize in 1964 for his collection of poetry, Poems of Red and Blue (1964). A well-known scholar and writer, his poems, short stories, book reviews, and articles on Mayanma (Burmese) literature and art have appeared in various journals, magazines, and newspapers since 1958, often under the pen name Maung Swan Yi. He has lectured on literature, at schools, town halls, churches, and monasteries, since 1962 and has also devoted himself to the preserving of Burmese culture, conducting extensive field research on Burmese folklore and folk music. He is participating through private sponsorship.

Burma
2004 Resident

MAUNG THA NOE is well known for introducing modern poetry into Burmese literature circles in the 1960s. His most recent translation was Jostein Gaarder's Sophie's World. Maung Tha Noe is participating courtesy of the Burma Project.

THIDA MA
Burma
2005 Resident

MA THIDA (fiction writer, physician, activist; b. 1966, Burma) was in medical school when Burma’s military junta shut down the universities. She then served as a health care provider as well as an editor for the non-violent National League for Democracy. Her many short stories containing disguised criticism of the Burmese government led to six years in solitary confinement, without access to reading or writing materials. In 1999 she was pardoned and released on humanitarian grounds. She is now the editor of a youth magazine as well as a surgeon at the Muslim Free Hospital, which treats poor patients at no cost.

Pandora
Burma
2012 Resident

Pandora (poet; Burma/Myanmar) is the editor of the forthcoming [Tuning: An Anthology of Myanmar Women Poets], due out this August. Her poems have been anthologized in Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets (2012), and translations of her work have been published in international literary journals and magazines, including Asymptote, Poetry Review, and Sampsonia Way. She currently works for the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.

Nay Phone Latt
Burma
2012 Resident

Nay Phone LATT (poet, fiction writer; Burma) is the author of the City I dropped down a collection of stories written during his four-year imprisonment. A blogger and activist, he has received the Reporters Without Borders’ Cyber-dissident Award and the PEN American Freedom to Write Award; in 2010, he was listed among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. He edits the online magazine (Thanlwinainmat), www.thanlwin.com, and is the executive director of the NGO, Myanmar ICT for Development Organization (MIDO), www.myanmarido.org. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. His blog in English is en.nayphonelatt.com.

Zeyar LYNN
Burma
2013 Resident

Zeyar LYNN (poet, translator; Burma/Myanmar) is the author of seven poetry collections, including [Distinguishing Features] (2006), [Real/Life: Prose Poems] (2009) and [Kilimanjaro] (2010). He has translated John Ashbery, Charles Bernstein, Donald Justice, Sylvia Plath, Wisława Szymborska and Tomas Tranströmer, as well as many Chinese, Japanese, Australian, East European and Russian poets. Since 2005 he has organized and hosted the annual UNESCO World Poetry Day event in Yangon. He is also one of the editors of the quarterly Poetry World. He teaches English at a specialized language school. His participation is privately funded.

Myay Hmone Lwin
Burma
2014 Resident

MYAY HMONE LWIN (poet, fiction writer, translator; Burma/Myanmar) is the author of the poetry collection Se ma lar [Wanna Ride?] (2010), the short story collection Yangon tayeiksanyone mha pyan yaggaun lootnay [An Otter Sneaked Out From the Yangon Zoo] (2014), and the novels Nhit phie da pine [One By Two 1/2] (2011), Khu (2011), A yate ta kyi kyi [Watch Out Your Shadow] (2012) and Kyat sar ko khae pyat nhit pyat ywae ma ya [What Has Been Written on the Stone Can’t Be Erased by an Eraser] (2013). He owns a publishing house and printing press, and is on the Board of Directors of PEN Myanmar. His participation is privately funded. 

MAUNG YU PY
Burma
2015 Resident

MAUNG YU PY (poet; Burma) has published poem collections [There is a New Map for That Little Island Town Too] (2007) and [With the Big Television Turned On] (2009). His work is also included in several national poetry collections, as well as in Bones Will Crow: An Anthology of Burmese Poetry. His participation is made possible by the Open Society Institute.

Burma
2016 Resident

ko ko thett (poet, translator; Myanmar) has won a PEN Translation Award for Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets (2012), co-edited with James Byrne. His The Burden of Being Burmese (2015) explores the untenable notion of ‘‘Burmese.’’ After working in South East Asia and Europe, ko ko thett returned to his native Yangon. He writes in both Burmese and English. His participation is made possible by the Open Society Foundation.

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