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Umbu Landu Paranggi


An artist who is often referred to as a mysterious figure in the Indonesian literary world since the 1960s. His name is known through his works in the form of essays and poems published in various mass media. Umbu is a poet and teacher for young poets of his time, among others Emha Ainun Nadjib, Eko Tunas, Linus Suryadi AG, and others.

By the early 1980s a new generation of young writers had appeared, signifying a positive shift in the progress of Balinese literature. This would not have happened without the pivotal role played by Umbu Landu Paranggi and the Bali Post, where he has been literary editor since 1979. Before coming to Bali, Umbu Landu Paranggi, who was born in 1945 on the island of Sumba in West Nusa Tenggara, spent almost ten years in Yogyakarta in the 1970s. He initially studied law at Gajah Mada University and later worked as literary editor of Pelopor (Pioneer), a Yogyakarta newspaper. While there he established the Persada Study Club, a literary group that held a ‘street poetry reading’ every night in Jalan Malioboro, in the heart of Yogyakarta, where poets, people who appreciate literature and artists could gather for informal discussions and poetry readings which often lasted all night. The role that Umbu Landu Paranggi played during his time in Yogyakarta has been widely acknowledged by poets such as Emha Ainun Nadjib (1983) despite the fact that he left the city a long time ago.

Umbu Landu Paranggi’s tireless efforts have shown results, particularly in the development of poetry. During his editorship, Bali has seen the emergence of young poets with a strong commitment to the promotion of Balinese literature, such as Alit S. Rini, Oka Rusmini, Cok Sawitri, A.A. Mas Ruscitadewi, Tan Lio Ie, Wayan Arthawa, Sindhu Putra, Ketut Landras Syaelendra, Warih Wisatsana, and Fajar Arcana (see Chapter V). Their work has appeared in the national journals Horison and Kalam, in Kompas, Republika and Media Indonesia, and has been included in a number of contemporary Indonesian poetry collections such as Mimbar penyair abad 21 (Twenty fi rst century poets’ forum, 1996) and Cakrawala sastra Indonesia (Indonesia’s literary horizon, 2004) both published by Dewan Kesenian Jakarta, and Angkatan 2000 (Rampan 2000). They have dominated national poetry-writing contests, and are frequently invited to national, regional (ASEAN) and international literary forums.1

  1. A Literary Mirror 

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