Over 40 years
at the cutting edge
of poetry publishing
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Ma Ei (Myanmar)

Ma Ei (b. 1948) is from Burma delta and made her debut with the 1977 poem Chance for a Snap Smile. By 1982, fourteen poems and two short stories were published in Moewei and Shumawa magazines. The same year, she joined the Communist Party of Burma 'in order to serve the people in the armed resistance with her pen'. She was a propagandist, a tax collector, a schoolteacher and a war reporter for the party. In 1989 she parted with the communists to work for Kachin Special Region 1 (a cease-fire zone) in the northernmost part of the country, returning to Rangoon in 1995 as one of the prisoners handed over to the government under the cease-fire agreement. She has many poems (A Letter for Lovers and Haters won the Htanyakenyo Award in 2009), short stories, articles and a novel, and was an editor for The New Age magazine and The Torch journal. Having been reincarnated as a rebel, a widow, a divorcee and a poet laureate, Ma Ei believes she has earned more materials than she can possibly use in her lifetime.