literature & poetry

Indonesian Poets in London

Venture beyond the pantun with today’s most celebrated Indonesian poets, Avianti Armand and Laksmi Pamuntjak.

As part of London Book Fair’s Indonesian focus, hear readings from poets of the region, with a discussion of their work and a Q&A session hosted by Forward Prize-shortlisted poet Will Harris.

Work by both Armand and Pamuntjak is included in the latest edition of Modern Poetry in Translation, which will be available for purchase at the book stall throughout the event. This event is part of the World Books series that has seen the National Poetry Library host poets from Syria, South Korea and Mexico.

Laksmi Pamuntjak is a bilingual novelist, poet and food writer. She has written on culture and politics for publications including The Jakarta Post and The Guardian. Her first bestselling novel, Amba / The Question of Red, set against the backdrop of the Indonesian anti-Communist mass killings of 1965 – 66, won Germany’s LiBeraturpreis in 2016 and has been translated into several languages. Pamuntjak was Indonesian representative at the 2012 Poetry Parnassus festival, and the movie adaptation of her novel Aruna dan Lidahnya (The Birdwoman’s Palate) won two awards at Festival Film Indonesia. Pamuntjak’s third novel, Srikandi / The Fall Baby, was published in 2018.

Avianti Armand is a writer, curator and architect whose work has gained national recognition and several awards. She twice received Kusala Khatulistiwa, a prestigious national literary award: in 2011, for her poetry book Perempuan Yang Dihapus Namanya (Women Whose Names Were Erased), and in 2018, for her recently published collection of poems Museum masa Kecil (Museum Of Childhood). Women are frequently at the heart of her literary work and she is known for rediscovering ‘forgotten women’.

Will Harris is an Anglo-Indonesian poet and critic, based in London. He is author of the chapbook of poems All This is Implied (HappenStance, 2017), and the essay Mixed-Race Superman (Peninsula Press, 2018). His first full-length book of poems, RENDANG, is due to be published by Granta in Spring 2020.

This event is presented in partnership with the British Council as part of the Indonesia Market Focus at The London Book Fair 2019.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


National Poetry Library,

Level 5, Blue side, Royal Festival Hall


Free, but ticketed