Koko Thett – Ode to O and The Mistress of the House – translated by the Author


Ko Ko Thett’s poetic life was discreetly launched when he took it upon himself to edit a samizdat poetry collection at Yangon Institute of Technology in Myanmar in 1994. After he left the country in 1997, Thett began writing in English and has published in literary journals worldwide, from Griffith Review to Granta. He has won an English PEN translation award for the seminal Bones will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets (ARC, UK), which he co-edited with James Byrne. His collection of poems in English, The Burden of Being Burmese (Zephyr, 2015), is listed on World Literature Today’s Nota Benes. His work has been widely anthologized and translated into several languages including Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Brazilian Portuguese and Finnish. He serves as poetry editor for Mekong Review and country editor for Myanmar at Poetry International [the Netherlands]. After a whirlwind tour of Asia, Europe and North America for two decades, Thett resettled in Sagaing in his native Myanmar in 2017 and published poetry books in Burmese. At the present time he stays in Norwich, UK, writing in both Burmese and English.