Edited and translated by ko ko thett and James Byrne
Published by Arc Publications
The anthology reveals the transition of traditional to modernist poetry, the development of Burmese poetry over the second half of the 20th century, as Burma has changed. Through their wildly diverse styles, these poems delight in the freedom to experiment with poetic tradition.This is the first anthology of contemporary Burmese poets published in the West, and includes the work of Burmese poets who have been in exile and in prison. The poems include global references from a culture in which foreign books and the
internet are regarded with suspicion and where censorship is an industry. The poets have been ingenious in their use of metaphor to escape surveillance and censorship, writing post-modern, avant-garde, performance and online poetries.
ko ko thett grew up in Burma. By the early 1990s, he was thoroughly poeticized and politicized at Rangoon Institute of Technology. In 1996 he published and clandestinely distri
buted two uncensored chapbooks on the campus. He left the country in 1997 following a brief detention for his role in the December 1996 student uprising in Rangoon. ko ko thett has written extensively for several Burma journals and leading papers in Finland.
James Byrne is the Editor and co-founder of The Wolf poetry magazine. His debut collection, Passages of Time, was published by Flipped Eye in 2003. Blood / Sugar is his second collection. He is the co-editor of Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century, an anthology of British and Irish poets under 35, to be published by Bloodaxe in 2009, and the Collected Poems of Hope Mirrlees, forthcoming from Carcanet in 2010. He helped to organize the ‘World Poets’ Tour’ for the Poetry Translation Centre at SOAS, London, in 2004 and has translated the Yemeni national anthem. In 2008 he won the Treci Trg poetry prize in Serbia. As a result his Selected Poems is to be published (in a bilingual edition) in Belgrade in 2009. Since 2006 James has taught regular Wolf Workshops, which have helped many students with first book and pamphlet publications.