Pamuntjak, Laksmi

Laksmi Pamuntjak (born 1971) is an Indonesian poet, novelist and food writer. She was born in Jakarta.

She is the author of two collections of poetry, Ellipsis (2005) and The Anagram (2007), a treatise on violence and the Iliad entitled Perang, Langit dan Dua Perempuan (2006), short stories in The Diary of R.S.: Musings on Art (2006) and four editions of the bestselling Jakarta Good Food Guide.

She also translated and edited Goenawan Mohamad’s Selected Poems and On God and Other Unfinished Things and wrote the preface to Not a Muse: International Anthology of Women’s Poetry (2008).

Co-founder of Aksara bookstore, Pamuntjak has also participated in numerous international literary events and festivals. Her poems and short stories have been published in several international journals.

In 2009, she was appointed jury member of the Prince Claus Awards based in Amsterdam, a post she held until 2011.

In 2012, Pamuntjak was selected as the Indonesian representative at the Poetry Parnassus in London, the largest poetry festival in the UK held in conjunction with the London Olympics.

At the end of 2012, Pamuntjak’s first novel, Amba, was the runner-up of Tempo Magazine’s 2012 Best Book of the Year award. The novel is a modern take on the story of Amba and Bhisma from The Mahabharata, set against the backdrop of the Indonesian mass killings of 1965 and the Buru penal colony. The novel is now a national bestseller and has been printed several times since its publication in October 2012.

Info via Wikipedia. Image via Frankfurter Buchmesse. Copyright Hans-Scherhaufer/Ullstein Verlag.