THERE ARE TEARS IN THINGS: Collected Poems and Prose (2001-2016) by Laksmi Pamuntjak



This book contains 49 poems and 11 prose texts by Laksmi Pamuntjak, newly and previously published, collected over a period of 15 years. The introduction is by the Hong Kong-based renowned poet Viki Holmes.


  • What a pleasure to see Laksmi Pamuntjak’s poems and prose texts in one generous volume that bears witness to her versatility and dexterity in both those genres, long before her name became internationally known for her splendid first novel. Her multivocal stories intertwine with the lush, layered textures of art and music, and her elliptical, deft poems observe with a clear eye the cityscapes of our own restless lives, whether in Jakarta or London, New York or Berlin.

    - Aamer Hussein, author of Another Gulmohar Tree, The Cloud Messenger, Kahani

  • It is clear from her beautiful poetry and prose that Laksmi Pamuntjak knows the human heart has many chambers (who cares what doctors think!) and that love, desire and longing is never so easy and simple as to occupy only one room in the hotel of our hearts. This staggering collection is both delicate and dangerous, forceful and faultless. She draws back the curtains on the aching complexities of vulnerability; all you have to do is enter.

    - Sean M. Whelan, author of Tatooing the Surface of the Moon

  • Pamuntjak moves through cities and bodies and imprints and sends us these pages like postcards to cherish: on one side, poems and musings; on the other, vignettes and visuals. So we travel with her through her eyes, seeing and savoring each experience, renewed by every fresh taste or tableau.

    - Sharanya Manivannan, author of The High Priestess Never Marries

  • Laksmi Pamuntjak's poems start in the thinking mind, intelligently constructed and seemingly softly spoken. But they roam wildly into everything that surrounds it, both by way of the material, the bodily, the sensuous, and along the transformative power of the imagination. Her verse brings these two distinct modes of being together as if they are not separate at all. In so doing, her poetry is one where the personal, the political and the mystical are one. As they should be.

    - Joost Baars, poet, essayist, former manager of Perdu Poetry Theater in Amsterdam