Summer of Poetry

As part of our Year of Literature, Bahasa Basudara embarked on an ambitious project at the start of 2021. We came up with the grand idea to give some of our talented and aspiring poets in Maluku a platform, where they would be able to share their work with a wider international public. It had been a project long in the making, and we’re delighted to finally present the launch of this worthwhile undertaking. We’re extremely proud to present to you our Summer of Poetry.

Over the past few months, we have been working closely with twelve poets from Maluku - some you may know of already - and have translated a selection of thirty poems from Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu Ambon, into English. The poets will be showcasing their poems (with English subtitles) on the Bahasa Basudara YouTube, on Facebook and on Instagram. Eko Saputra Poceratu will kick it off on Friday 6th August 2021 and then every other day in August and September, until Sunday 3rd October 2021, you can watch these talented artists (see attached schedule) perform their work. 

We will publish an anthology of their work in Bahasa Indonesia/Melayu Ambon and English, with illustrations by Embong Salampessy, before the end of the year. Right in time for Christmas. The proceeds of this anthology will go to the poets.

Let us introduce you to the participating poets:

Agung Pranyoto (1992, Banda Neira). Agung started writing in 2006 and has published a book of poetry collections titled Musim Kasmaran (Season of Falling in Love, 2020). He has also contributed to two poetry anthologies Paduan Karsan Volume 9 (2008) and Tana Putus Pusa (Place of Origin, 2019). In November 2019 he played Sutan Sjahrir in the short documentary film Bung di Banda directed by Sergius Sutanto.

Chalvin Papilaya (1992, Poka). Chalvin studied theology at the Indonesian Christian University of Maluku. He discovered art through his friends in the Batu Karang community. He loves writing poetry and theatrical scripts. In 2016 he was the Emerging Writer at the Makassar International Writers Festival. In 2019 he published his first book of poems called Mokolo.

Eko Saputra Poceratu (1992, Tihulale). Eko is a poet and novelist and known to write about social themes, which deal with issues that concern a particular group of people, whether it’s religious or societal. He was the resident writer, representing eastern Indonesia (Maluku) in The Netherlands in 2019. He has won the following awards: Emerging Writer (Makassar International Writers Festival 2018); Young Writer at SAPA Kristiani Festival, Jakarta in 2018; Finalist in the Poetry category (Kusala Sastra Equatorial festival 2019). His published work include: Pelangi Biru (Blue Rainbow), Hari Minggu Ramai Sekali (Sunday is Very Hectic), Sebiru Api Rindu (As Blue as the Fire of Yearning) and Dosa Penyair (Poet’s Sin).

Emma Hanubun (1995, Ambon). Emma loves to write and wants to introduce Maluku, and especially its people, to the world. It comes as no surprise that all her written work is about Maluku. She has a desire to visit remote areas in Maluku and also wants to travel abroad. She contributed to the anthology Katong Pung Orang (Our People, 2020). She currently publishes all her work on Instagram.

Judith Vanesha Ahar (2000, Ambon). Judith studies economics and business at Pattimura University in Ambon and likes to carve a meaning through a series of words. She represented her university in the short writing competition in 2018 during the National Student Art Week in Yogyakarta. She was also the first winner of the Poetry Copyright Competition, which was organised by the Maluku Literature Workshop in 2019. Some of her work has been published in the poetry anthology Menenun Rinai Hujan (together with Sapardi Djoko Damono and Selected Writers Indonesia, 2019); Anthology of National Poetry Competition (2019); Anthology of the Role of Industrial Journalists 4.0 (2019); the book Membaca Perempuan Maluku (Reading Moluccan Women, 2019), the anthology Katong Pung Orang (Our People, 2020), and the anthology of Moluccan women essays Sio Ina (Oh Mother, 2020).

Mariana Lewier (1971, Ambon). Mariana is married and has three children. You can class her style as lyrical poetry, which is more a private expression of emotion. She cares about her environment and Maluku’s nature. Mariana is a lecturer at the Education Faculty at Pattimura University in Ambon. Her poems have appeared in various anthologies with other Moluccans in Biarkan Katong Bakalai (Let Us Fight) and Pemberontakan dari Timur (Rebellion from the East) and with other Indonesian poets in Nyanyian Pulau-Pulau (Songs from the Islands) and Pesona Gemilang (Brilliant Charm).

Marthen Luther Reasoa (1998, Saparua). Marthen is the current chair of the Maluku Literary Workshop. His work covers nature, culture and city life and they have been  published in the daily newspaper Mimbar Rakyat. They have also been made into songs and poetry readings. His poems have been published in several poetry anthologies, together with other poets; among others in poetry anthology Biarkan Katong Bakalae (Let Us Fight, 2013), poetry anthology Rasa Sejati (True Taste Poetry, 2017), poetry anthology Kita Dijajah Lagi (We are Colonised Again - 2017); poetry anthology from the Banjarbaru's Rainy Day Literary Festival (2018 & 2019); poetry anthology Menenun Rinai Hujan (together with Sapardi Djoko Damono and Selected Writers Indonesia, 2019); poetry anthology Katong Pung Orang (Our People, 2020).

Muhammad Isya Gasko (1999, Dobo). Muhammad studies law at Pattimura University in Ambon and fell in love with literature when he was still in junior high school. He started writing more seriously in 2017. Coming from the Aru islands his poetry are reflections of Aru's Customs and Culture that sadly has started to erode. Muhammad has contributed to the poetry anthology about Glenn Fredly and another poetry anthology Romantika Cinta Dunia Aksara.

Silvester Heatubun (1996, Dobo). Silvester started writing poetry, short stories and novels when he was in college. The main subject of his writing is Moluccan culture, and he likes to tell his stories through verse. Like his contemporaries, he too wants to travel abroad. He also contributed to the poetry anthology Katong Pung Orang (Our People, 2020). Silvester works at the Education Office, Aru Islands Regency. Outside work he spends his time writing.

Abubakar Difinibun aka Tatanusi (1996, Kilaba). Tatanusi studied at the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences at Pattimura University in Ambon. His topics touch on the people, and the social and physical conditions they live in. He is a member of the university’s outdoor pursuits club and is a freelance writer for Kompasiana, an online platform for bloggers. He regularly posts his work on Instagram. He has contributed to the poetry anthology Tanah Putus Pusa (Place of Origin, 2019).

Theodora Melsasail (1994, Ambon). Theodora is a dancer and choreographer and has been active in the world of contemporary dance art since 2011. She expresses her poetry through dance, with an emphasis on her love for Maluku and situations at home. She focuses on educating the Moluccan community through dance at schools and works on the Ruma Balajar Project for children in Piru Village. In 2018 she founded a dance community for young women in Ambon City called the Theo Dance Family. She was the resident artist at the Bagong Kussudiardja Art Retreat Centre in Yogyakarta in 2019.

Thomas Yafet Madilis (1996, Amahei). Thomas feels that his love of literature and poetry are an important part of life. Through poetry, he can voice his criticism of Maluku. In 2020, he received the Best Writer award at the National Poetry Writing competition held by the Centre of the Art Competition. He was too has contributed to the poetry anthology Katong Pung Orang (Our People, 2020).

Subscribe to our YouTube channel and enjoy the poetry these gifted artists wish to share with you in our Summer of Poetry. Please use the #MalukuPoetry if you share any posts or videos!