Naypyidaw ~ Burma
Tin Moe (1993-2007) was a highly esteemed poet and literary activist. Born in Burma in 1933, his first book, The Lantern, published in 1965, won the National Literary Prize for Poetry. He founded a library in his village, taught Burmese language and literature, was poetry editor for the Ludu Daily Newspaper and was involved in producing textbooks and children’s books. Tin Moe joined the pro-democracy movement in 1988 and continued to write despite great risk, becoming a voice for the people. Tin Moe published over 30 highly respected books and essays, all of which are banned in his homeland. Having spent several periods in jail, in 1999 he was compelled to go into exile where he continues to write as well as producing literature programmes for Radio Free Asia. Tin Moe’s poems circulate in pro-democracy networks and have been found scratched into the walls of prisoners’ cells. This Prince Claus Award honours Tin Moe for his outstanding literary achievements and for his role in sustaining culture as a source of strength, inspiration and identity.