Zeyar Lynn
(Myanmar Burma, 1959)   
Zeyar Lynn

Zeyar Lynn is a poet, critic, writer, translator and language instructor who lives in Rangoon. Since 1990 he has instigated a wider appreciation of postmodern and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry forms into Burmese and is widely regarded as the most influential living poet in Burma. Besides his own collections, which include Distinguishing Features (2006), Real/Life: Prose Poems (2009) and Kilimanjaro (2010), he has translated various Western poets such as Sylvia Plath, Wisława Szymborska, Donald Justice, John Ashbery and Charles Bernstein, as well as a number of volumes on poetics.

Before Zeyar Lynn, Burmese poetry had always been emotionally or politically laden. Zeyar Lynn has almost single-handedly propagated “poetry from the head” as opposed to that from the heart, to the dismay of many of his contemporaries. As a master of doggerel, Zeyar Lynn may be the Burmese answer to Bernstein. His influence is widely felt in the writings of the new generation of Burmese poets today.

Zeyar Lynn has also published on the changing traditions of Burmese poetry in Jacket 2. In his poem ‘Telephone’, he playfully muses: “Poetry is not by the language, not via the language from the language, not with the language without the language. It is written, made, composed, constructed, read, and felt in the language. Of course, sometimes it is not.”

© ko ko thett


Zeyar Lynn’s homepage


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