A literature visit by Wrecking Ball Press to Indonesia has resulted in securing the rights to publish Mikael Johani’s We Are Nowhere And It’s Wow and Nirwan Dewanto’s Museum of Pure Desire.
The trip was part of the Literature Visit programme supported by the British Council that aimed to build networks in literature ahead of the Indonesian market focus at London Book Fair in 2019.
Editor Shane Rhodes headed out to the Jakarta and Makassar International Writers Festival in May in order to identify publishing opportunities, find out more about Indonesian culture and literature and meet with writers and Indonesian publishers.
Both books will be published in 2019 in readiness for London Book Fair at Earl Court in March next year.
We Are Nowhere And It’s Wow is Johani’s first poetry collection and is divided into three sections, home, home part deux, away, and we are nowhere and it’s wow. because he likes being coy. home is away, away is home, part deux is part un, nowhere is somewhere etc. includes such orientalist pesudo-political poems as away with wiji thukul I-VIII as well as apathetic occidentalist ones like esthétique du mall.
Museum of Pure Desire contains choice examples of contemporary Indonesian poetry whose richness derives from their destruction of the constraints that surround poetry. Dewanto’s poems challenge the reader to stop and reconsider what first comes to mind upon their reading and to consider an entirely different interpretation altogether; they pull the reader into a state of tension between extreme juxtaposition and hidden logic, between childlike playfulness and calculated detachment.
Other publishers in attendance at the Literature Visit were MacLehose Press, Portobello Books, Tilted Axis Press, Oneworld Publications and Harvill Secker.
30 Indonesian publishers and copyright agencies are expected to head to London Book Fair in 2019.