What Media Says

Oct 09, 2021

The isolation poems by Putu Oka Sukanta

Putu Oka Sukanta, poet and writer, was imprisoned by the Indonesian New Order regime between 1966 to 1976 as part of the army’s seizure of power and the purges of the Left. He learnt acupuncture from fellow inmates in prison. When he was released, he could no longer write and publish his work. As a former political prisoner during the New Order, he was restricted in what he could do. Acupuncture became a skill he relied on to make a living. These poems were written during the Covid-19 pandemic when in the absence of vaccines and growing number of people becoming infected and dying in Indonesia, one of the easiest ways to protect oneself was to stay home and avoid contact with others. The themes of fear, dread, isolation, and desperate longing are reflected in the poems below. The poems were all written in his home in Rawamangun. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sukanta laid low to avoid becoming infected with the virus. He closed his home practice, and as a result, lost his source of income. Though he was not in prison this time, being in isolation, at times, reminded him of it.

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All Things Books

Aug 11, 2021

Grim romance: Eka Kurniawan on ill-fated characters and writing what he knows

Having originally been written in Indonesian, Sumur was first published in September of 2020 in English as The Well, as a part of the Penguin Books’ anthology Tales of Two Planets. Its Indonesian version has now been released in Indonesia, via publisher PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama. The novella is limited edition, with only 2000 copies printed. A bookmark accompanying the book states: “This book will only be printed once. One day it will be a rare item.”

Aug 06, 2021 Indonesian Director Edwin Talks Sex, Violence and Dictatorship in ‘Vengeance Is Mine’
Aug 05, 2021 11 Translated Books by Asian Women Writers to Read This #WITMonth

What's New

Oct 02, 2021

Speed Hating, Singapore Crime Tours and other guilty pleasures at Singapore Writers Festival 2021

With Singapore being a multilingual, multicultural nation, look out for other programmes across English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Some of these programmes include The Knots in Being Naughty, an excavation of guilty pleasures in Tamil literary arts with Leena Manimekalai, Vadi PVSS, and Indrajit; or Forget Her Not: Sridevi – The Eternal Screen Goddess with Satyarth Nayak, the author of her biography, and the highly acclaimed director, R. Balk. Join writer Chang Tieh Chih for a conversation about the medium of the magazine in The Modern Magazine in a Digital Age. Reminisce about food from three capitals of cuisine in Savour the Flavour with Hoo Joo Chuan, Emily Chau, and Wong Chiang Yin. Puisi yang Berisi brings authors from various cities together with acclaimed Indonesian poet Joko Pinurbo alongside Fahd Razy and Farihan Barhon, as they discuss how poetry can be a rallying cry and secret fans of clichéd storylines and happy endings can indulge in the conversation with Nisah Haron and Amanah Mustafi in Malu tapi Mahu.

Jul 23, 2021

Good News for Literature Lovers

The long-awaited Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) returns for its 18th year, from 8–17 October 2021. The Festival moves forward with the theme, Mulat Sarira, interpreted in English as Self-Reflection. The Festival will explore self-reflection, cultural introspection, and human rights: examining who we are, what unites and divides us, and what drives our actions.

May 31, 2021

Book piracy: Cash-strapped and hungry for knowledge, or simply fraud?

Finding pirated versions of books in Indonesia is easy. From kiosks and outlets in shopping centers to a variety of e-commerce platforms that host vendors carrying the illicit goods, those looking can find cheap versions of practically any title, old and new, foreign or Indonesia. From obvious photocopies to black-and-white scanned prints, and to high-quality reproductions, pirated books come in many shapes and forms to fit every budget.


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Erni Aladjai: Wandering Kei

“After my writings were published in Femina, the road of being a writer has been a smooth one. It was the first time my writing got published in a print media from Jakarta.” One month ...

February 22, 2015 Okky Madasari: When Luck Is Not Enough


January 10, 2021

New Year, New Logo

IDWRITERS gets a new logo—reclaim its mission through a new look, tone, and feel. We’re making our logo the two-tone black-and-red design; aimings get new passion and authority: cleaner, simpler, and more professional. That redundant ...

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” ...