What Media Says


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


Nov 10, 2022 / PEN America
on Cynthia Dewi Oka

The PEN Ten: An Interview with Cynthia Dewi Oka

The PEN Ten is PEN America’s weekly interview series. This week, PEN America’s Membership and National Engagement Assistant Kori Davis speaks with Cynthia Dewi Oka, author of A Tinderbox in Three Acts (BOA Editions, 2022). Oka’s fourth poetry collection, A Tinderbox in Three Acts explores the anti-Communist genocide of 1965 in Indonesia. 
Nov 09, 2022 / Words Without Borders
on Khairani Barokka

“Curiosity and Excitement”: An Interview with Khairani Barokka

For the past two years, Khairani Barokka and I have had the pleasure of serving, with Daljit Nagra, on the jury of the Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation. We have read thousands of poems translated primarily by students from world languages into English. (On November 15, the winners will read their works online in the virtual prize ceremony.) During this period Okka became the editor in chief of Modern Poetry in Translation, a role she has described as her dream job. We recently spoke about her plans for the venerable publication’s future.
Nov 08, 2022 / Jakarta Post
on Maesy Ang

What I’ve learned: Maesy Angelina, indie bookshop POST cofounder

What I’ve learned’ is a new column that presents candid interviews with policymakers, artists, activists and businesspeople on facing challenges and making a difference. Maesy Angelina has learned—and unlearned—a lot over the years. It turns out that opening a bookshop and keeping it open for almost a decade, can teach you a lot about character and community, as well as what you value in yourself and others. Whether it is shrugging off labels, reinventing the way we define success, or simply staying true to why she started POST—an independent bookshop and publisher in Pasar Santa, South Jakarta—, Maesy looks back on what she’s learned with a fondness and maturity we should all strive to adopt. The math isn’t in our favor. But this city deserves more bookshops.
Sep 27, 2022 / Tempo English
on Goenawan Mohamad

Acclaimed Writer Goenawan Mohamad to Receive Japan Foundation Awards

Prominent writer Goenawan Mohamad is listed to be one of the recipients of The Japan Foundation Award 2022, which has been awarded since 1973. He will be awarded the honor along with Canadian playwright Robert Lepage and the Korean Japanese Association. Goenawan Mohamad, Robert Lepage, and the Korean Japanese Association were selected after screening 74 nominees nominated by experts and the general public. Novelist Haruki Murakami was among the renowned people to receive this honor in 2012.
Aug 12, 2022 / Antara
on Ajip Rosidi

Jokowi bestows honorary medals as part of Independence Day celebration

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) bestowed honorary medals on hundreds of Indonesians for their distinguished services during a ceremony organized as part of the commemoration of the 77th Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia. The award ceremony was held at the State Palace, here on Friday, and attended by several recipients, who also represented hundreds of other recipients. Those present included few recipients and heirs of other recipients, who had passed away.
Jul 07, 2022 / Courier
on Eka Kurniawan

Eka Kurniawan: “It would be great to live around people who read literature from across the world”

Since the publication of his first novel Beauty Is a Wound in 2002, Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan has made himself a name internationally. Drawing on the myths and beliefs of his country while combining earthliness and poetry, magic and realism, his short stories have been translated into more than thirty languages.
Jun 22, 2022 / Iowa IWP
on Felix K. Nesi

On The Map 2022: Interview with Felix K. Nesi, Indonesia

Felix K. NESI (fiction writer, activist; Indonesia) is the author of Orang-Orang Oetimu [People of Oetimu], which won the 2018 Jakarta Arts Council Novel Competition, and, in 2016, the story collection Usaha Membunuh Sepi [Effort to Kill the Quiet]. With the support of the Indonesian National Book Committee, he has researched Timorese slavery in the Netherlands. He is also the founder of a street bookstore, a library, and the book festival Kencan Buku Fesek, all in West Timor. His participation is made possible by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.   "On the Map" is a series of interviews with writers while they are in Iowa City participating in the International Writing Program's fall residency. The series is produced by the IWP at the University of Iowa and is made possible by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. For additional private support, see final credits.
May 26, 2022 / Liminal Magazine
on Norman Erikson Pasaribu Tiffany Tsao

5 Questions with Norman Erikson Pasaribu and Tiffany Tsao

Norman and Tiffany, you’ve had an ongoing collaborative friendship for some years now. In 2019, Norman’s first poetry collection, Sergius Seeks Bacchus (Sergius Mencari Bacchus) was translated from Bahasa Indonesia to English by Tiffany, as well as individual short stories (‘Deep Brown, Verging on Black’) in The White Review. Can you tell us how this relationship began? How has it evolved through the years? TT: We met online! I saw the poetry that Norman had posted and thought, oh cool! At the time I was volunteering for the literary journal Asymptote and was looking for Indonesian writing to suggest to the section editors. I asked Norman if they had a translator yet, and if not, if they’d be interested in working with me to translate some samples. NEP: What Tiff said! It’s really not a story of an author and a translator meeting in a bar. I think our relationship has so evolved that our friendship, our sisterhood, is much larger than our working relationship. I consider Tiff my family.
May 25, 2022 / Personal Blog
on Agustinus Wibowo

Talking with Agustinus Wibowo: Syncretic Indonesia

Agustinus Wibowo is a young Indonesian intellectual who ranges from writing, with highly successful books, to travel photography. In his travels, he has crossed the Himalayas, South Asia, Afghanistan (where he lived for three years), Iran, and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Agustinus is fluent in Indonesian, English, and Mandarin Chinese; he learned Russian, Japanese, German and French academically; and he also self-taught many languages including Urdu, Farsi, Tajik, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Uzbek, Mongolian, Turkish, and Tok Pisin. One of his favorite topics is the religious syncretic tradition of Indonesia, which is one of the topics that fascinates me, not just related to Indonesia. But given that very little is yet known about the archipelago of 17,000 islands, it seems like a good opportunity to have a chat with Agustinus.
May 22, 2022 / South China Morning Post
on Marga T

Indonesian-Chinese writer Marga T on guilt of having been born a girl: ‘it gave me cancer’

In her latest and most personal work, the celebrated author ‘cleanses’ her soul as she opens up on her traumatic childhood, her mother’s death, and dealing with abuse The 79-year-old also reflects on her long career as an ethnic Chinese writer whose success came despite oppression against the community by ex-dictator Suharto, in this rare interview with This Week in Asia
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