What Media Says

Aug 12, 2020

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 Bernard and Barokka named National Centre for Writing associate artists
Aug 03, 2020 He Never Betrayed Poetry

All Things Books

Aug 13, 2020

Heritage food book The Way Of Kueh takes home top prize at Singapore Book Awards

Kueh led the way at the Singapore Book Awards on Thursday (Aug 13), as Christopher Tan's heritage food book The Way Of Kueh won Book of the Year at the annual industry awards by the Singapore Book Publishers Association (SBPA). The awards recognise the best in local book publishing. Best Literary Work went to Fall Baby by Indonesian writer Laksmi Pamuntjak, a novel about a controversial artist who discovers that her birth father died a political prisoner. It was published locally by Penguin Random House South-east Asia.

Aug 06, 2020 Locarno 2020: Introduction to the Open Doors Hub projects
Aug 04, 2020 Book Ambassadors: What our envoys abroad are reading this summer

What's New

Jul 17, 2020

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2020 postponed

The 2020 Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, which was scheduled to be held this October, has been postponed until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The festival’s founder and director, Janet DeNeefe, said that postponing the high-profile literary event was not an easy decision. “It doesn’t just impact our foundation [Mudra Swari Saraswati] and the festival team, but also means a loss of revenue due to a lack of ticket sales and valuable partnerships,” DeNeefe said in a statement. The annual festival, held in Ubud, Bali, prioritizes the health and safety of its audiences, speakers, staff and volunteers, according to the statement.

Mar 22, 2020

Rich themes of Indonesian poems, from struggle, love, to humor

Aku by Chairil Anwar is one of the Indonesian-language poems that are widely known across generations. Some critics say the poem, written in 1943, emphasizes Anwar’s individualistic nature and vitality. The 90s generation is probably familiar with this poem as it appears on Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? (What’s Up with Love?), a teen movie which marked the revival of Indonesian cinema in the early 2000s.

Mar 08, 2020

Deciphering Indonesia in its myriad shades through its female writers

International Women's Day is celebrated worldwide to honor women and their accomplishments and acknowledge what women have yet to achieve. This year's International Women's Day is themed #EachforEqual that forges a gender equal world. As in several parts of the world, women in Indonesia have a long-standing history of struggling for equality and the story continues until this day. However, for some people, who find it dreary to learn about history, reading some fiction from the country's prominent female writers can be a good option to acknowledge women's role and depiction in Indonesian society, as well as their struggle and empowerment.


August 11, 2018

Two West Papuan Authors You Should Read

Many of you have probably seen or read about Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful TED talk, “The Danger of a Single Story.” In sum, she argues that if we only hear one story about ...

May 24, 2017 Tiffany Tsao: On working with Norman for Asymptote
September 28, 2015 Aan Mansyur on Writing: The Only Way to Find Answers for His Restless Mind


September 29, 2019

“I thought I should have read it long ago.”

Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk (The Dancer) by Ahmad Tohari portrays the tumultuous days of 1960’s Indonesia through a love story between Srintil and Rasus in Paruk, a village that struggles to keep up with the changing ...

January 1, 2019

[UPDATED] 2018’s Noteworthy Moments

To close the year of 2018, we took the initiative to reconcile hundred of noteworthy moments that took place throughout the year—we have already documented many of them, and now serve it as a “kaleidoscope” ...