For much of his young adult life, K Za Win was a Buddhist monk, until he left the order, arguing that being recognized as a learned monk by the Myanmar military state was pointless. In 2015, he marched with students along the 350 mile route from Mandalay to Yangon for education reforms until the rally was shut down near Yangon and he along with most of the student leaders were arrested and jailed. He spent a year and one month in prison, after which he published his best-known work, a collection of long-form poems, My Reply to Ramon. K Za Win was a land rights activist and a Burmese language teacher in addition to a poet. In the 2020 election, he said he didn’t vote for the National League for Democracy, whose policies he was very critical of, but when the NLD won by a landslide and an election fraud was alleged as an excuse for the 2021 military coup, he was on the frontlines of the anti-coup protests. He was shot dead by Myanmar security forces at a protest in Monywa on 3/3/2021.