Burma Nurtures Literary Tradition with International Festival


If Jon Nickell’s essay “Into the Tiger’s Lair” piqued your interest about Burma, you might be interested to know that the often isolated country with abundant censorship regulations just held its first international literary festival.

With workshops and readings on topics like war, violence, and government criticism, the Irawaddy Literary Festival, under the patronage of Aung San Suu Kyi, seems to have been a screaming success:

“Burma has an obvious love of literature, but Burma has, or used to have, an obvious lack of access to literature,” said Jane Heyn, the festival’s director and wife of the British ambassador to Burma.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →