Over 40 years
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Thitsar Ni (Myanmar)

Photo: Craig Ritchie
Photo: Craig Ritchie

Thitsar Ni (b. 1946) was born in Rangoon. Since his 1965 poem The Time for Fetching Water was published in Shumawa magazine in 1965, he has published more than thirty books, under several pen names and in different genres - from poems, short stories, literary criticism, science fiction, to religious and philosophical treatises and a dictionary of world politics. His 1978 chapbook, Myinsaing Archery, a watershed in contemporary Burmese poetry, was re-released in 2006. His best-known collections are Walking Out of My Own Skin, Redundant Sentences and 21st Album, together with Aung Cheimt and Maung Chaw Nwe. His poem Redundant Sentences won a contemporary poem of the year award in Burma in 2004. Thitsar Ni is a Buddhist with no spouse, no bank account and no master. To him, a poem should be an anti-poem. In describing the significance of writing poetry, he states: I have always chosen poetry whenever there was chance for me to live a purposeful life.