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Maung Thein Zaw (Myanmar)

Maung Thein Zaw (b. 1959) was born to a family of goldsmiths in Myaing Myo, Pakkokku District, in upper Burma. At fifteen he entered the Burmese zat performance world as the front man of a travelling Burmese traditional dance troupe in Mandalay. His work has regularly appeared in Burmese magazines since the 1980s. Frequently sentimental in its outlook, his poetry may be seen as a reconciliation, in form, between the traditional - in terms of diction, romanticism and philosophy - and the modern. Two book of his poems, Dripping Dewdrops and Scenery 21, were published in one single volume in 2008. As a zat dancer and poet, Maung Thein Zaw's life had always been peripatetic, performing during the nights and dreaming during the days. As a Buddhist, he has tried to understand 'the Noble Eightfold Path' to the best of his capacity, while he sees his poetry as an attempt to gauge the essence of life.