Celebrating 77 Years of Poet Sapardi Djoko Damono with 7 Books Launching and A Special Showcase
Sapardi Djoko Damono is undoubtedly one of the biggest poet in Indonesia of all time. He has created tons of verses, poems, and also novels among other things. 2017 marks his 77th birthday which falls on 20 March to be exact. To coincide with his birthday, Gramedia Pustaka Utama published seven new titles of novels from Sapardi in a special launching event. Those books are “Ada Berita Apa Hari Ini”, “Den Sastro?”, “Ayat-ayat Api, Duka-Mu Abadi”, “Kolam”, “Namaku Sita”, “Sutradara Itu Menghapus Dialog Kita”, and the sequel of Hujan Bulan Juni trilogy called “Pingkan Melipat Jarak”. During the launching event at Bentara Budaya Jakarta, which was conducted by Tony Thamrin, the poet exchanged some jokes regarding his poems, books, and upcoming projects. Senior Editor of Literary Books from Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Mirna Yulistianti, also expressed her gratitude to re-publish the masterpieces from Sapardi. “(We’re) Very proud to republish the works from one of the biggest poet in Indonesia, Mr. Sapardi Djoko Damono. After many years, 6 poetry books from Mr. Sapardi were under the radar of the readers, and now Gramedia Pustaka Utama have the opportunity and trust from Mr. Sapardi himself to republish them. It is truly a huge honor for us,” said Mirna.
The event also featured poetry reading from some of familiar names like Tina Talisa, an ex TV anchor, Iwan Setiawan, an author of famous novel called “9 Summers 10 Autumns”, fellow poets and literateurs, Goenawan Mohamad and Joko Pinurbo. There were also some talented names like Ni Made Purnama Sari and Cyntha Hariadi who read Sapardi’s poems or verses. Poetry musicalization was also displayed with Tatyana Soebianto and Umar Muslim as the performers. Sapardi said that the modification of his creation helped the readers or listeners to acknowledge his works. Instead of being disappointed with the interpretation, the man who’s often seen wearing a hat said that he was happy to be recognized by other artists from different fields. The event commemorated his roles and significance for Indonesia’s literary world.
It was also revealed that a new movie based on his best-selling novel “Hujan di Bulan Juni” is in the work. Tina Talisa acts as the executive producer along with Avicenna as the producer. Hestu Saputra is appointed as the director and the film will begin shooting on the second week of April. North Sulawesi, Jakarta, and Japan will be set as the background setting of the film. Furthermore, Sapardi Djoko Damono said that he would not interfere in the filmmaking process and his partake the role of getting the royalty only which induced a stream of laughter from the audience. You could get the 7 new titles from Sapardi Djoko Damono on the nearest bookstore and his novel “Hujan Di Bulan Juni” has been republished for 9 times after it was first published in 2013.
Photo: Bonifasius Eiji/Writer: Novita Widia