Sergius Seeks Bacchus
Translated by Tiffany Tsao
Norman Erikson Pasaribu is one of Indonesia’s most vital and irresistible new writers, a poet distinguished by his tender, tragicomic voice. Drawing on the experiences of fellow members of the queer community and especially on the poet’s life as a writer of Bataknese descent and Christian background, the collection furnishes readers with an alternative gospel, a book of bittersweet good news pieced together from the poet’s encounters with ridicule, persecution, loneliness, and also happiness.
Born in Jakarta in 1990, Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s debut poetry collection Sergius Mencari Bacchus (Sergius Seeks Bacchus) won the 2015 Jakarta Arts Council Poetry Competition and was a finalist for the 2016 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Poetry. In 2017, he received the Young Author Award from the Southeast Asia Literary Council.
Tiffany Tsao is a novelist, translator, and critic. Her translation of poems from Sergius Seeks Bacchus was a winner of the 2017 PEN Presents East and Southeast Asia translation competition. She currently resides in Sydney.
‘A new and magical voice emerging in literature, yet one almost preternaturally wise, profoundly celebratory of the history and possibility of poetry.’ – Christos Tsiolkas
‘Norman Erikson Pasaribu spares nothing and nobody, least of all himself, in this gleefully dark, clever, beautiful book. These poems will take you into the woods of the world and make you ache.’ – Omar Sakr
pp : 96
Published : May 2019