Khokant Culture and Literature Association

Descendants of Ming royalist’s fleeing the Manchu conquerors in China, the Khokant are ethnic Chinese who live in a thin strip of land along Myanmar’s north eastern Shan State.  Like many of the ethnic communities they have endured decades of conflict, though unlike many of the ethnic groups their language and literature has escaped relatively unscathed … 

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Writer Profile: Ko Nyein

Ko Nyein (Mandalay) is a Modernist poet and short story writer.  Born in 1945 in the city after which he takes his pen-name, his first poems appeared in the respected Moe Way magazine, such as ‘A Boat with Three Men’, and ‘A Man with a Rickshaw’ and later in the 1990’s his short stories were featured in Shwe Amyutae journal … 

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Sadaik Short Reviews: On the Road to Mandalay

Sadaik Short Reviews: On the Road to Mandalay

While many imported literary forms have been adapted by Burmese writers, it is the ‘wuthu saungbar’ which the writers have embraced and perfected.  A masterwork of the blend in fact and fiction, this particular road, begun by Ludu U Hla in the 1950s, follows Mya Than Tint on a 1980’s literary tour of the country and …

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Mon Literature and Culture Committee

The Mon are the oldest civilisation in the South East Asia region.  Once a powerful empire whose lands and influence stretched across the Indo-China mainland, they are responsible for the introduction of Buddhism to the region and can attest to the oldest script in the region dating back to at least the 500’s AD … 

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Myanmar Writers Association

The Myanmar Writers Association has a long and twisted history in Myanmar.  Dating back to at least the parliamentary democratic era in the 1950’s, the association, initially independent, was brought under the control of both the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Home Affairs, during the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s … 

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Sadaik Short Reviews: The Japanese Era Rangoon General Hospital

Sadaik Short Reviews: The Japanese Era Rangoon General Hospital

Memoirs are a common genre in Burmese literature in translation, and yet here, we have something unique.  Dr Myint Swe’s memoir of his time at Rangoon General Hospital No.1 is a rare and enjoyable account of wartime Burma under the Japanese occupation from the life of a Burman.

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Writer Profile: Ponnya Khin

Ponnya Khin (b. 1972) is a novelist and short story writer.  Born in Ayeyarwaddy Region, she worked at various jobs, including a primary school teacher and journalist.  She published her first story in 1993, moved to Yangon and has, unusually, written full time since 2000.  She has achieved this through an immense literary output …

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Sadaik Short Reviews: The Rainy Season Setting

Sadaik Short Reviews: The Rainy Season Setting

In this slim chapbook a sense of place is everywhere, guided by the subtleness of San Oo’s voice which shifts, from civility to a harshness unexpected.  Throughout, the senses are lulled by a cadence brought on repetitious cycles, yet, Nyunt Wai Moe’s impressive translation, never falters, it never bores.  The Rainy Season Setting is to be read in a single sitting, to do otherwise would be to disrupt the voyage.

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Writer Profile: Aung Cheimt

Aung Cheimt (b.1948) is a poet, translator and former political prisoner.  Known as a member of the “Revolutionary Poets’, this epithet come from both his time incarcerated in the 1960’s after the military coup and for his contribution in the birth of a more modern stylistic framing of the role poetry could play in 1970’s Myanmar … 

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Writer Profile: Duwa Walu Sin Wa

Duwa Walu Sin Wa (b.1948) comes from a long line of Kachin ‘Jaiwa’s’ or storytellers.  Born in Ninghpum Village, Sumprabum Township, the cultural heartland of the Jinghpaw community, his father, the head of his clan, sent Duwa Walu Sin Wa to live with his uncle when he was 10 years old.  This uncle was the clan’s Jaiwa …

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Sadaik Short Reviews: 12 Poems

Sadaik Short Reviews: 12 Poems

The 12 poems from the eponymous title have been scoured from among many of Aung Cheimt’s works, dating back to 1995 and are thematically linked to seasons.  Many are sparse, some just mere thoughts taken to paper, neither epic nor fantastical.  Maung Tha Noe, once again, has proved his talents, in an effortless translation that reads smoothly and retains that firmness and determination of intent that Aung Cheimt is known for.

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Writer Profile: U Pe Myint

U Pe Myint (b.1949): Born in Rakhine State, U Pe Myint trained as a doctor but has won much acclaim as an influential figure in political journalism, fiction writing and translation.  He has published over twenty-five books, including ‘Those Who Sell “Things” for Human Use and other stories’, a collection of short stories that …

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Sadaik Short Reviews: Myanmar in my Lifetime

Sadaik Short Reviews: Myanmar in my Lifetime

As the eponymous ‘k’ states in the prologue, this is not a book of his life but rather of Burma in the 1920’s, and yet it inevitably returns to him, and his family, his friends as they navigate a turbulent time in Myanmar, a time of literary renaissance and anti-colonial political awakenings … 

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Writer Profile: Kyaw Mya Than

Kyaw Mya Than (1930 – 2000) was a novelist and non-fiction writer of the ‘realist’ tradition.  In the 1950’s parliamentary era he wrote political articles under the pen name Ye Baw Than before joining the staff of ‘Crime Magazine’ in 1956, a popular journal at the time.  He here found the theme that would become a constant in all his writing … 

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Sadaik Short Reviews: The Bamboo Clapper Essays

Sadaik Short Reviews: The Bamboo Clapper Essays

A collection of fifty short articles published in the mid to late 1960’s in the Working People’s Daily newspaper.  While most anthologised articles from Myanmar rarely have a thematic identity, this particular collection, compiled by Win Pe’s son, is an extreme jumble of thoughts …

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Writer Profile: Ma Sandar

Ma Sandar is an architect by trade and a writer by choice.  She made a name for herself with the publication of ‘Innocence of Youth’, a novel on the lives of students at the Yangon Institute of Technology in 1972.  She has gone on to publish 50 short stories and 13 novels, winning 3 National Literary Awards in 1994, 1999 and 2002.  5 of her novels have been made into movies.

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Wunpawng Shingni

Literally in English, ‘Kachin Arts’, Wunpawng Shingni is Kachin State’s first independent, secular, multi-ethnic arts organisation.  Residing in a two-storey wooden house in Myitkyina’s famed Manau Cultural Park, the whole organisation was formed in May 2013, taking advantage of the liberalising reforms of the Thein Sein administration …

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