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Mandy Moe Pwint Tu


First Language(s): Burmese
Second Language(s): English


Mandy Moe Pwint Tu is a writer and a poet from Yangon, Myanmar. At 21, she co-founded the Yangon Literary Magazine, which was featured in the BBC Radio 4 documentary, Yangon Renaissance: Poets, Punks, and Painters. She is currently studying English at the University of the South.


What was your favorite book as a child?

I loved The Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton. My school library had a decent collection of works by Blyton, and I remember reading all of them. I loved the idea of climbing up a tree full of weird and wonderful characters to find a different magical land at the top every other week. It’s no surprise then that I am still an avid lover of fantasy novels.

Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?

In 2007, I watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I was spellbound. I had never experienced anything so cinematic or with such rich storytelling, and it moved me to tears. I knew then that I had to try to write something that would aspire to match the standard that J.R.R. Tolkien had set. While most of my early work tried to emulate Tolkien (fiction and poetry-wise), along the way I found my own voice.

What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?

I’m not a thrill seeker by nature and I have a terrible fear of heights, but within the last year, I plucked up the courage to get on a small airplane and take a unique, aero-tour of my campus. It was certainly a lesson in seeing things from a new perspective.

Do you listen to music while reading or writing?

It depends on my mood, usually. For poetry, I tend to prefer silence while I’m writing. Silence, I find, is necessary for the kind of introspection that poetry demands. For short stories and/or novels-in-progress, I find that the Backstreet Boys are great to have on in the background.


Mother & the Moon
Issue Fall '19

Supported by:

Land Steiermark: Kultur, Europa, Außenbeziehungen
U.S. Embassy Vienna
Stadt Graz