Media Clippings


A compilation of every mention of Indonesian writers, written on English/foreign-language media. See also What Media Say.


God is Not Dead, Poetry Save Him

Jul 31, 2022 / Omong-Omong Media by Okky Madasari
What is God? What is poetry? Spirituality has been a main topic for poetry across Nusantara for centuries. Since the beginning of Malay poetry in the 16th century through the works of Sufi poet, Hamzah Fansuri, to the pioneer of Indonesia’s modern poetry, Chairil Anwar, in the mid 20th century, to today’s generation, and from syair generation to TikTok generation, poetry has been a way to find the meaning of God and spirituality. Between Hamzah Fansuri in the 16th century and Amir Hamzah in the beginning of the 20th century Sufi poet, poetry is medium of worshiping God — to express the love and longing for God, to surrender and to acknowledge the greatness of God. While Sufism itself is way to define God in more humanistic way, it is undoubtedly that Sufi poets see God as the greatest supranatural being, the creator and the source of everything.

Surf up to Langkawi Writers’ Festival for sun, sea and books

Jul 23, 2022 / The Star Online by Dinesh Kumar Maganathan
The inaugural Langkawi Writers’ Festival in Kedah, happening from Sept 1-4, is another positive step towards consolidating the northern Malaysian literary scene, which already has the internationally acclaimed George Town Literary Festival and the independent MYWritersFest in Penang. One of the regional literary names set to appear at the festival is writer and screenwriter Eka Kurniawan, who was the first Indonesian to be longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2016 for his supernatural fable Man Tiger (translated from his original book Lelaki Harimau).

England’s National Centre for Writing: Emerging Translator Mentorships

Jul 22, 2022 / Publishing Perspectives by Porter Anderson
In the United Kingdom, the National Centre for Writing in Norwich has today announced (July 22) the available languages and mentors in its Emerging Translator Mentorships program for the 2022-2023 cycle. In its 13th year, the program is intended to encourage “successive new cohorts of literary translators into English, particularly for languages the literature of which is under-represented in English translation.”

2022 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize

Jul 20, 2022 / Penguin UK Articles
We are delighted to announce that the 2022 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize is now open for entry. This year the focus language is Indonesian and entrants will translate an excerpt from the novel Dua Muka Daun Pintu by Triskaidekaman.

Taman Ismail Marzuki exhibition raises funds for sick Indonesian literary figures

Apr 07, 2022 / Jakarta Post by Radhiyya Indra
In a small theater lobby at Taman Ismail Marzuki art center in Cikini, Central Jakarta, on Thursday, paintings were put on display as painters, poets and artists from various fields huddled together in deep conversation about the artworks in front of them. “This work — this one — has made its rounds in the United States,” artist Baron Basuning was heard describing Arahmaiani’s acrylic-on-canvas painting Silent Rainbow VIII. The painting was just one among many exhibited in the Pameran 20 Perupa Peduli Remy Sylado & Sutardji Calzoum Bachri (20 Artists for Remy Sylado & Sutardji Calzoum Bachri), which runs until Wednesday.

Local poems on longing during pandemic celebrated in anthology

Mar 26, 2022 / Coconuts
Hundreds of works by local poets that were put to paper amid inescapable feelings of longing during the pandemic have been curated in an anthology named Kita Hanya Sesingkat Kata Rindu (We are as Brief as Longing), which is launching today. Literary community Semut Merah Kaizen received nearly 400 poem submissions for the book a year ago, and eventually settled on 117 of the finest in its curation. A special talk show will mark the book launch at 7pm today, featuring Semut Merah Kaizen advisor and contemporary Indonesian literature icon Dee Lestari (Perahu Kertas, the Supernova series), as well as celebrated Indonesian poet Aan Mansyur (Hujan Rintih-Rintih, Aku Hendak Pindah Rumah).

We Rise, We Heal, We Resist

Mar 22, 2022 / GenderIT.org by Raiz Rizqy Yulia Dwi Andriyanti
With its diverse ethnicities and cultures, Indonesia has celebrated gender diversity even before the country's independence. This is indicated by the existence of five genders in the Bugis (South Sulawesi) tradition, namely: Makunrai (female), Oroane (Male), Calabai (Male with women soul), Calalai (Female with man soul) and Bissu. Bissu have a high and respected position in the social structure of Bugis society. They are the leaders of ancient Bugis religious rituals. Various information related to these five genders are written in Sureq I Lagaligo[1]. Unfortunately, there were upheavals from armed groups who disagreed with the regime during the Old Order in Indonesia. This group conducted Operation Toba (Operation of Repentance), which targeted the bissus. They were arrested and forced to become men, even some of the bissus were killed because they were not willing to leave their traditions.

“Cemeteries Are Everyday Life”―Five Indonesian Writers Talk Pandemic Normality

Mar 08, 2022 / The Asia Center by Raka Ibrahim
Roundtable talk / Asian Literature Project "YOMU" (Indonesia) Nothing remains the same after the pandemic, and Indonesian writers struggle, too. They must contend with personal battles, economic woes, and the realities of a book industry ill-prepared to face a global crisis. For the project YOMU, the Japan Foundation asked five well-known authors to reflect on their new normal life from their own perspective. What came out of this was five emotionally-charged short stories and essays. Ziggy Zezsyazeoviennazabrizkie wrote about child welfare issues and domestic violence, Azhari Aiyub used the durian craze as a metaphor for fighting back against collective trauma, Intan Paramaditha mused on the nature of borders and privileges, Faisal Oddang spoke of dreams and the spectre of death, while Agustinus Wibowo reflected on his identity and personal journeys. In September 2021, they spoke with Lily Yulianti Farid, writer and translator, and director of the Makassar International Writers Festival, about loss, the tasks of the literature scene after the pandemic, and the rapeutic snake dreams. Moderator: Lily Yulianti Farid Text (Indonesian and English): Raka Ibrahim

“We Are a Nation of Wounds”―Eka Kurniawan ✕ Ribeka Ota

Feb 25, 2022 / The Asia Center by Raka Ibrahim
As a novelist, Eka Kurniawan's star has never shone brighter. In 2016, he became Indonesia's first writer to be nominated for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize. Two years later, he received the Prince Claus Award. And he's not stopping: his novel, Seperti Dendam, Rindu Harus Dibayar Tuntas (Vengeance is Mine, All Other Pay Cash), was recently adapted into a feature film that just won the Golden Leopard Prize at the Locarno Film Festival. He's at the top of his game now. His globetrotting adventures began in Japan. In 2006, his debut novel Cantik itu Luka (Beauty is a Wound) was translated into Japanese by OTA Ribeka—the first time Eka's works were introduced to an audience beyond his country. Since then, he has transformed from an overzealous young writer into one of the country's most renowned authors. The pair were reunited at "Reading Indonesia Through Translated Novels," a discussion held on in August 2021 as part of the Asian Literature Project "YOMU." They spoke with Raka Ibrahim, a writer and translator, about their travails translating literature, how to gaze at history with insolence, and new perspectives in Indonesian literature.

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

Oct 02, 2021 / Bakchormeeboy
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.
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