Gunawan Maryanto launches new poetry collection

Bambang Muryanto

The Jakarta Post


Jakarta   /  Mon, September 10, 2018  /  04:36 pm

Gunawan Maryanto reads from his latest poetry collection at Teater Garasi, Yogyakarta, on, Sept. 5,(JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Director, actor and writer Gunawan Maryanto launched his latest poetry collection Sakuntala in Yogyakarta on Sept. 5.

Consisting of 70 untitled short poems, the collection depicts the story of Sakuntala, the wife of King Dusyanta in the Mahabarata era to describe Gunawan's thoughts and feelings.

Interestingly, instead of a book discussion, Gunawan chose to mark the launch of his 11th book at Garasi Teater with a poetry theater performance.

"Tonight’s performance is a result of a recent two-day workshop on poetry theater," said Gunawan who has won the Sastra Khatulistiwa literary award.

Gunawan, who is a senior actor at Teater Garasi, served as a mentor at the workshop. He requested the workshop's 21 participants, who were divided into two groups, to perform body movements to interpret Sakuntala.

Read also: Wiji Thukul's daughter heals tragedy with poetry

Actors interpret Gunawan Maryanto's poetry in 'Sakuntala'. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

Gunawan, who portrayed Wiji Thukul in Istirahatlah Kata-kata (Solo, Solitude), said he wrote the poetry in Sakuntala in Instagram Story platform when he and other Garasi actors explored many Indonesia between 2017 and 2018.

Over the past few years, Gunawan said, he had been inspired by Javanese mythology such as Mahabarata, Ramayana and Serat Menak.

"I've chosen a figure that not many people talked about, like Sakuntala, who hasn't been portrayed in wayang kulit [performance], despite him giving birth to characters like Pandawa and Kurawa," he added. (kes)