The Sparkplug: Volume 2

Volume #2, Issue #1

In memory of poet K Za Win (1982-2021)


A poet’s death is his life” / “a letter from a jail cell” (note by Ko Ko Thett, and poem by K Za Win)

Hate them all, Father.” Another coup is denounced, but when will Burma have peace? (note by Lital Khaikin)

How does one respectfully mourn the death and honour the life of a poet? Most naturally, by sharing their work. But, where the poet’s voice is now silent, perhaps it is also by pollinating those unnatural voids with the materials they most resonated with — ideas.

The printing of this special, combined edition of The Green Violin and The Sparkplug was prompted by the killing of a poet, K Za Win — a friend of Green Violin author Ko Ko Thett — in protest in Monywa, Burma (Myanmar) on March 3. K Za Win’s poem “a letter from a jail cell” captures the bitterness of betrayal felt by all whose labour and bodies are made to serve absolute power. It is the poet’s blessing and curse, to reveal the nature of violence that underlies the essential human experience. K Za Win was a 38-year-old poet whose life was made bright through his words, amid a period inflamed by conflict in a beautiful country that has not been given rest.