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Sutardji Calzoum Bachri


Sutardji Calzoum Bachri, known as Tardji, is a well-known Indonesian poet. A native Malay speaker, he successfully launched a credo of ‘freeing words of their meanings’.

He was nicknamed the “bottle poet” for a preference, early in his career, for accompanying readings of his work with bottles of alcohol. He was also known once as ‘The President of Indonesian Poets’. His style of reading has been compared to the incantation-like quality of the old Indonesian dukun, chants stemming from Indonesian pre-Islamic shaministic practice, still used today.

The style of Tardji’s poetry has been described as that of a mantra. He has been quoted as saying that the mantra is the true use of words.1

His poems appeared in literary magazines such as Horison and Budaya Jaya, as well as in the literary pages of national daily newspapers such as Sinar Harapan and Berita Buana. Later he joined the editorial board of Horison; and was appointed senior editor in 1996. Between 2000-2002 he was the poetry editor of Bentara, a monthly cultural supplement of the newspaper Kompas.

Placed among the leading figures of modern Indonesian literature, he attended the Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam summer of 1974. In the same year, he spent 6 months as a participant in the International Writing Program in Iowa City , USA . With fellow Indonesian poets KH Mustofa Bisri and Taufiq Ismail, Sutardji took part in the International Poets Meeting in Baghdad , Iraq . In 1997, he was invited to read his poetry at the International Poetry Festival in Medellin , Colombia . His short story collection, entitled Sutardji received an SEA Writer Award from the King of Thailand in 1979 and an Arts Award from the Indonesian government in 1993. He is also the recipient of the 1998 Chairil Anwar Literary Prize, and in 2001 he was awarded the title Sastrawan Perdana (Prime Man of Letters) by the regional government of Riau.2

  1. Wikipedia 

  2. Goodreads 


Hujan Menulis Ayam
(Rain that Writes Chickens)
Collection of Short Stories
94 page(s), Indonesiatera

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