What Media Says


Indonesian writers as seen on English/foreign-language media. See also Media Clippings.


Aug 12, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Sapardi Djoko Damono

Sapardi Djoko Damono’s book of never-before-seen poems for his wife released

A book consisting of 80 poems written by the late celebrated poet Sapardi Djoko Damono for his wife Sonya Sondakh was officially launched by publisher Gramedia Pustaka Utama (GPU) on Monday. Sapardi spent two years preparing the book, which he titled mBoel, Sonya's nickname, and planned for its release on her birthday in August before he passed away in July, according to a statement received by The Jakarta Post. “He planned all of it himself,” said Sonya. “It was a part of his entire plan for 2020.”
Aug 06, 2020 / Bookseller, The
on Khairani Barokka

Bernard and Barokka named National Centre for Writing associate artists

Ted Hughes Award winner Jay Bernard and Indonesian poet Khairani Barokka have been named associate artists at the National Centre for Writing (NCW). Supported by by Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund, they will be helped to create new work, explore collaborations and work closely with the centre's audience. Bernard is a writer from London whose Surge: Side A (Speaking Volumes) won the Ted Hughes Award in 2018. Debut collection Surge was published in 2019 and shortlisted for a string of awards. Barokka is an Indonesian writer and artist based in London who is co-editor of Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (Nine Arches), author-illustrator of Indigenous Species (Tilted Access), and writer of debut poetry collection Rope (Nine Arches).
Aug 03, 2020 / Tempo English
on Sapardi Djoko Damono

He Never Betrayed Poetry

ESTEEMED poet Sapardi Djoko Damono breathed his last on Sunday, July 19. Esthetically speaking, his work achieved a level of its own in the Indonesian literary firmament. SOME of Sapardi Djoko Damono’s poetry is much like an endless lake which waters if scooped will gel in the hand and transform into whatever they wish it to mean. But the way to delve into his body of work is to sail on those self-same waters. Sapardi’s words represent a life which on the surface looked like it was mainly made up of calm waters. In fact, the poet’s life was filled with many contradictions: treading between a life not making any sense and one of calculated logic; between the Javanese language in thought and the Indonesian language in text; between a form so simple conveying content filled with complexity; between a wish for peace and facing unavoidable conflict. Fellow poet Sutardji Calzoum Bachri once said, it was as if Sapardi’s poems were written in Javanese and translated into the Indonesian. Many saw that statement as sharp criticism towards Sapardi’s stilted use of language in his poetry. Yet Sapardi welcomed the comment. “Indeed, I do think in Javanese.”
Jul 31, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Ajip Rosidi

Ajip Rosidi: A prolific author, spirited literary activist passes away

The month of July marked another blow for the Indonesian literary scene with the passing of award-winning author and poet Ajip Rosidi. Ajip died at the age of 82 on Wednesday evening at the Tidar Regional Hospital in Magelang, Central Java, where he had been undergoing post-operative treatment after a fall at one of his children’s homes.
Jul 30, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Ajip Rosidi

Award-winning author Ajip Rosidi dead at 82

Award-winning author Ajip Rosidi passed away at Tidar Regional Hospital in Magelang, Central Java, on Wednesday. He was 82 years old. He died while undergoing postoperative treatment, Ajip’s daughter Nundang Rundagi said as reported by tempo.co. She explained that her father had been admitted to the hospital about a week ago after falling at one of his children’s homes in Mungkid district, Magelang. Doctors said he had suffered a brain hemorrhage and would require surgery.
Jul 20, 2020 / Kompas.com
on Sapardi Djoko Damono

Icon of Indonesian Literature Sapardi Djoko Damono Passes Away

Indonesian literature has lost one of its leading figures, eminent poet Sapardi Djoko Damono, who passed away Sunday, July 19. He was 80. “[Sapardi] died of natural causes,” said his relative Nana Subianto, prior to interring him at Giritama cemetery in Bogor, West Java. “He was treated at the Eka Hospital in South Tangerang since July 9. His organs started to fail because of complications from a long-running illness.” Thousands of netizens paid tribute to Sapardi, the majority of whom recited his poems. Artikel ini telah tayang di Kompas.com dengan judul "Icon of Indonesian Literature Sapardi Djoko Damono Passes Away", https://go.kompas.com/read/2020/07/20/170249674/icon-of-indonesian-literature-sapardi-djoko-damono-passes-away. Penulis : Tunggul Wirajuda Editor : Melecio Luib Akses Kompas.com lebih cepat dan mudah melalui aplikasi Google Play: https://bit.ly/3g85pkA Apple App Store: https://apple.co/3hXWJ0L
Jul 19, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Pramoedya Ananta Toer

Indonesian literary icon Sapardi Djoko Damono passes away at 80

Trailblazing literary icon Sapardi Djoko Damono, known for his seminal poems and works of cultural criticism, passed away on Sunday morning. He was 80 years old. Senior writer and cultural critic Goenawan Mohamad tweeted the news of Sapardi’s passing. “Poet Sapardi Djoko Damono passed away this morning after having been sick for several months,” Goenawan wrote on his official Twitter page.
Jul 19, 2020 / Jakarta Post
on Lala Bohang

Lala Bohang explores the feminine in the fantastical

Fresh off her residency in Berlin and Kassel, Germany, artist and author Lala Bohang said she originally applied two years prior, but did not receive the spot until a year later. “Those who know me would know I’m generally a slow person when it comes to new things, so applying for a residency outside Indonesia is really a brave move on my part,” she said in an Instagram Live session hosted by Goethe-Institut Indonesien. Hailing from Makassar, South Sulawesi, Lala has always been interested in fairy tales, as can be seen from her whimsical and fantastical illustrations. 
Jul 07, 2020 / New Mandala
on Tan Malaka

‘That damned elusive pimpernel: Tan Malaka and the Patjar Merah stories

The Indonesian Marxist and anti-colonial revolutionary Tan Malaka (1894-1949) exists in two forms, real and fictional. The real Tan Malaka was born around 1894 and had two spells at the forefront of Indonesian politics, first in the early 1920s, when he was a leader of the Communist Union of the Indies, and second during the Indonesian Revolution (1945-49), when he campaigned for a radical policy of social revolution and armed resistance against the Dutch. Between these two spells he spent twenty years in exile (1922-42), living for the most part under a variety of false identities in Siam, the Philippines, Singapore, and China.
May 12, 2020 / Options
on Intan Paramaditha

Author Q&A: Intan Paramaditha explores displacement, feminism and the road not taken in her choose-your-own adventure debut novel

In The Wandering, a young woman bored with teaching English in Jakarta, a city “full of thwarted suicidal urges”, makes a pact with her Demon Lover. He gives her a pair of red shoes that will take her wherever she wants to go — but the present comes with a curse. Intan Paramaditha’s debut novel was translated by Stephen J Epstein from the Indonesian edition titled Gentayangan: Pilih Sendiri Petualangan Sepatu Merahmu (2017) after it won two grants from international writers’ association PEN. It centres on borderlands and global nomadism, desire, mobility and displacement, the politics and privileges of travel, and how freedom and limitations tip the choices we make. Its protagonist remembers her mother’s warning — “bad girls go wandering” — but like the disobedient woman who gives in to an addiction, she grabs her options on a wing and a prayer as her red shoes click-clack across land and sea, from Indonesia to the US and Mexico, through dirt-filled streets, hotels, graveyards, nightspots, markets and mosques. En route, fellow travellers share gory, sorry stories.