The Anagram

Poems and Prose Poems


Anagram: word rearranged to form another. A metaphor for change and reinvention, a hermeneutic examination of the self, which nevertheless retains the basic elements that make up the consciousness. In her second collection of poetry, Laksmi Pamuntjak continues to look at human experiences and the stuff of everyday life: of love and loss, of grief and regret, of acceptance and rebellion, of fear of the unmapped and delight in the new, of redemption and the possibility of grace. This volume also includes eight poems on Buru Island in “From the Buru Notebook”, which focuses on a period during President Suharto’s administration (1965-1998) in which the island was turned into the site of a large penal colony where approximately 12,000 accused Communists and Communist Party sympathizers were detained for more than a decade without being formally charged or tried in court. 

Format: Paperback, 77 pages. Publisher: Kata Kita. Year of Publication: March 2006

Praise for "The Anagram":

  • The new poems of Laksmi Pamuntjak are by turns hard-edged and heartfelt-plain spoken messages from the depths of her being. What her translations of desire add to the fabric of our daily life may be measured in pure delight. Enjoy!

    - Christopher Merrill, director of International Writing Program, University of Iowa, and author of Brilliant Water, Watch Fire and Things of the Hidden God: Journey to the Holy Mountain.

  • With a language at once personal and sublime Laksmi Pamuntjak interrogates the vicissitudes of her life, drawing from them not easy lessons but paradox and complexity. The courage to make a moment become forever gives these poems their charge and their powerful poignancy. When this voice becomes persona, as it does in several political poems, the candour remains. The voice loses none of its conviction or resonance, but speaks again with a passionate authority and imaginative power… Laksmi’s imagery too is startling often and satisfying because it’s usually surprising and right; it’s not so easy to be startling and right.

    - James Norcliffe, author of Along Blueskin Road, Rat Tickling, A Kind of Kingdom, Letters to Dr Dee and The Sportsman & Other Poems.