Local poems on longing during pandemic celebrated in anthology

Photo: Semut Merah Kaizen
Photo: Semut Merah Kaizen

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).

“Poems are a form of writing that are so close to the realm of ideas. Their freedom and flexibility make them a therapeutic form of storytelling,” Dee Lestari said.

“The poems in this anthology did that to me numerous times.”

Semut Merah Kaizen will air the book launch and talk show live via their official Instagram account here.

The literary community Semut Merah Kaizen was established in April 2020 by alumni of Dee Lestari’s writing classes, which have produced more than 1,500 graduates as of today.
The community published its first book, a collection of short stories named Cerita Saat Jeda: Kumpulan Rasa Saat Pandemi Mengimpit (Stories During Pause: A Collection of Feelings Amid the Pandemic’s Squeeze) in September 2020. Five hundred copies of the book sold in the first two days since launch.

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