Sergius Seeks Bacchus

Norman Erikson Pasaribu



To say it is hard to be queer in Indonesia is a gross understatement. LGBTQI Indonesians encounter violence on a regular basis – from those around them, and increasingly, from the state itself. Yet this was the stage on which Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s poetry collection Sergius Seeks Bacchus made its debut, breaking new ground to become, in the words of another Indonesian poet Mikael Johani, ‘a queer pioneer’ on ‘an extremely heteronormative poetry scene’. Sergius Seeks Bacchus is a heart-breaking yet humorous rumination on what it means to be in the minority on multiple levels – in terms of sexuality, but also, ethnicity and religion. Drawing on the experiences of fellow members of the queer community and especially on the poet’s life as an openly gay writer of Bataknese descent and Christian background, the collection furnishes readers with an alternative gospel, a book of bittersweet and tragicomic good news pieced together from the poet’s encounters with ridicule, persecution, loneliness, and also, happiness.

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ISBN : 9781925818109
pp : 96
Published : May 2019

Available on backorder


About the Author

Norman Erikson Pasaribu was born in Jakarta in 1990. His first short story collection Hanya Kamu yang Tahu Berapa Lama Lagi Aku Harus Menunggu (Only You Know How Much Longer I Should Wait) was shortlisted for the 2014 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Prose. His debut poetry collection Sergius Mencari Bacchus (Sergius Seeks Bacchus) won the 2015 Jakarta Arts Council Poetry Competition, was shortlisted for the 2016 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Poetry and named by Tempo as one of the best poetry collections of that year.