Easterine Kire (Nagaland, 1959) is a poet and novelist and holds a Doctorate in English Literature from the University of Pune. Considered one of the greatest literary voices in her region, she has written various books in English, including volumes of poetry, novels and short stories. Her first collection of poems, Kelhoukevira, and her first novel, A Naga Village Remembered, both written in English, were the first poetry collection and novel to be published by a writer from Nagaland. The author has been a pioneer in opening up the fascinating and vibrant traditional Naga culture to the rest of the world through her writing. With the aim of preserving and enhancing her mother tongue, Tenyidie, she has collected 200 oral poems in the language in addition to producing a translation into English.
Of particular note is Mari, an Indian bestseller which has been translated into numerous languages, and her latest novel, Bitter Wormwood, nominated for the Indian Lit For Life Prize in 2013. In 2011 she was awarded the Governor’s Medal for excellence in Naga literature. Her books and poems have been translated into German, Catalan, Croatian, Uzbek, Norwegian and Nepali.
The violence of the regime in Nagaland, and harassment which she and her husband were subjected to as a result of her writing, led her in to exile in 2005. Since then she has lived in northern Norway, where she was initially given refuge by the ICORN network, and has dedicated herself to poetry and writing. She has recorded numerous CDs with her jazz group, Jazzpoesi, with whom she has performed on many occasions.