Goenawan Mohamad


He was born in Batang, Pekalongan (Jul 29, 1941), and currently lives in Jakarta

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An Indonesian poet and man of letters, Mohamad was a fierce critic of the Suharto regime which ruled Indonesia for much of the late 20th century. He founded ‘Tempo’ in Indonesia, a magazine which covers news and politics within the country, usually from a left wing perspective.

Mohamad writes a weekly column in ‘Tempo’ entitled ‘Sidelines’ in which he lambasts the current political order and the inanities of the media in Indonesia. This column has grown massively popular in Indonesia and has been compiled in book form in Sidelines. Mohamad’s radical and outspoken political views often occlude the quality of his poetic output, which has been widely lauded and is available in collections such as God and Unfinished Things and Once the Revolution No Longer Exists.1

Mohamad was one of the founders of the Lontar Foundation and is on the advisory boards of the human rights group ARTICLE 19 and the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. He is an alumnus of the College of Europe 1966-1967 promotion.2

  1. The Culture Trip 
  2. Wikipedia 


  In Other Words: Forty Years of Essays
Essay Collection
256 page(s), NewSouth
  Faith in Writing: Forty Years of Essays
Essay Collection
376 page(s), NUS Press
  On God and Other Unfinished Things
162 page(s), KataKita
  Tuhan & Hal-Hal yang Tak Selesai
(On God and Other Unfinished Things)
166 page(s), KataKita
  Sidelines: Thought Pieces from Tempo
260 page(s), Equinox Publishing
  Sajak-sajak Lengkap, 1961-2001
Poetry Collection
215 page(s), Metafor Publishing
  Di Serambi: On the Verandah – A Bilingual Anthology of Modern Indonesian Poetry
Poetry Collection
162 page(s), Cambridge University Press

He also Writes ...

What Media Say

Goenawan Mohammad: This is a once-in-a-lifetime project (Nov 12, 2015)
Singapore Writers Festival: Indonesia’s Goenawan Mohamad on how to write under censorship (Nov 02, 2015)
Goenawan Mohamad: “I write to liberate the language” (Nov 01, 2015)
Goenawan Mohamad Launches Latest Book in Frankfurt (Oct 15, 2015)
Indonesia at Frankfurt Book Fair: ‘The outcome will surprise many’ (Apr 24, 2015)

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Singapore Writers Festival packs in crowds (Nov 10, 2015)
Rethinking Censorship in Indonesia (Nov 06, 2015)
Writing our way to freedom (Nov 04, 2015)
Time to shine for Indonesian literature (Oct 18, 2015)
Indonesian literature stars in the making (Oct 18, 2015)
Translation is key to Indonesian literature going global (Oct 16, 2015)
Commentary: We miss you in Frankfurt, Mr. President (Oct 15, 2015)
World meet Indonesian literature at the Buchmesse (Oct 15, 2015)
Frankfurt Book Fair Officially Opened (Oct 14, 2015)
Little-known Indonesian writers tackle taboos on world stage (Oct 13, 2015)
In Indonesia, Writing Needs to Be Recognized as a Profession (Aug 28, 2015)
Indonesia on the Global Literary Stage (Aug 27, 2015)
Lontar’s Modern Library of Indonesian Literature (Jul 18, 2015)
Is Indonesia a “Land Without Readers?” (Jun 05, 2015)
Literature in Indonesia: A land without readers (May 29, 2015)
Indonesian authors to be highlighted in Frankfurt (Feb 26, 2015)
The Lontar Foundation Publishes Modern Indonesian Classics (Feb 18, 2015)
Clove Cigarettes and Indonesian Books: An Armchair Traveler’s Pleasure (Feb 17, 2015)
Dredging up the Dark Past: Indonesian Writers at Ubud (Oct 15, 2013)
Editorial: 15 March 2010 (Mar 15, 2010)
Why Aren’t More Indonesian Literary Works Published Abroad? (Jan 17, 2009)