Sergius Seeks Bacchus
Author: Norman Erikson Pasaribu
Translator: Tiffany Tsao
Original language: Indonesian
Published by: Tilted Axis Press, March 2019
Sergius Seeks Bacchus is a heartbreaking and humorous rumination on what it means to be in the minority in terms of sexuality, ethnicity, and religion. Drawing 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 encounters with ridicule, persecution, loneliness, and also happiness.
The thirty-three poems in Norman Pasaribu's prize-winning debut display a thrilling diversity of style, length, and tone, and telescope out from individual experience to that of fellow members of the queer community, finding inspiration equally in the work of great Indonesian poets and the international literary canon, from Aeschylus to Herta Muller.