Joko Pinurbo and Beauty in the Everyday World


Writer Joko Pinurbo visited the Kompas editorial board in Jakarta on June 28 2019.

The Indonesian literature world is in mourning again after Yudhistira ANM Massardi passed away in early April 2024. Now, poet born in Sukabumi, Joko Pinurbo (61), breathed his last breath on Saturday (27/4/2024).

The news of Jokpin’s death was conveyed by the editor of Gramedia Pustaka Utama, Mirna Yulistianti, who had been editing Jokpin’s books. Mirna said she received the sad news from Jokpin’s wife, Nurnaeni Amperawati Firmina, on Saturday morning, via the Whatsapp application.

According to Mirna, Jokpin passed away at Panti Rapih Hospital in Yogyakarta. She added, based on information from his wife, Jokpin had been hospitalized at Panti Rapih Hospital since Friday (April 26, 2024) night.

Previously, in November 2023, Jokpin was hospitalized for some time. In an interview with Kompas at that time, Nurnaeni said that Jokpin was experiencing lung complaints. “After 2023, Mas Jokpin was hospitalized several times. “I also had time to visit him,” said Mirna.

Also read: Joko Pinurbo dies, Indonesia loses its best poet

Joko Pinurbo, who is familiarly called Jokpin, has produced a number of books poetry. Some of them are Pants (199), Under the Flapping Sarong (2001), My little girlfriend (2002), To Kiss i>(2007), Happy Poetry Service (2016), Khong Guan Banquet (2020), News of Joy (2021), and < i>Epigram 60 (2022).

As the title suggests, Jokpin’s poems discuss simple things about life and everyday objects. The diction in his poems is simple, yet able to “touch” its readers. The poems are also short, clear, and concise. Because of its simplicity, Jokpin’s poetry is not difficult to understand, even by those who claim not to be poetry enthusiasts.

Let’s open what’s inside this can of Khong Guan:biscuits, peyek, chips, ampiang, or rengginang?// Simsalabim. Open it!// The contents turned out to be cellphones, ATM cards, tickets, vouchers, medicine, amulets, and petrified pieces of longing.

This is one of Jokpin’s poems entitled “Khong Guan’s Gift” in the book Khong Guan’s Banquet. The book containing 80 poetry titles was launched with dozens of people at the Gramedia bookstore, Jakarta, on January 26 2020. Before it was launched, the publisher and Jokpin had obtained permission from the Khong Guan biscuit manufacturer.


Joko Pinurbo, Indonesia’s leading poet, visited the Kompas Daily Editorial Team at Kompas Tower, Jakarta, Friday (28/6/2019). Joko Pinurbo read one of his favorite poems he ever wrote entitled “Little Dictionary” in the Sleep Training Book.

Also listen to the poem entitled “Khong Guan Religion” from the same book below:

Rengginang cheers//when religions unite//in the can of khong guan.

At the time, Jokpin explained that his book was not just about discussing the brand of biscuits. The book about Khong Guan actually came from Jokpin’s thoughts about love and diversity. He was inspired by an article on the internet about Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur when he talked about his visit to Madura.

The fourth President of Indonesia tested his audience’s knowledge of the names of religions in Indonesia. Instead of mentioning Confucianism, the audience answered with Khong Guan. Gus Dur laughed and jokingly talked about the religion of Khong Guan appearing.


Writer Joko Pinurbo on December 30 2011

The joke became Jokpin’s inspiration to tell a story. He wants readers to think about brotherhood and love among human beings. Khong Guan is considered the appropriate medium for storytelling because it is simple and embedded in people’s minds.

“I want to invite people to pay attention to issues that may cover the country’s territory. However, I do not want to make this discussion intimidating,” he said (, 26/1/2020).

Apart from poetry, Jokpin also writes stories. Several of his short stories were published in the mass media, and were even selected to be included in the book collection Compas Selected Short Stories in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also tried out writing novels. His first novel is entitled Srimenanti and was first published in 2019.


A theater play titled “Borrowed Body of a Friend” by Sony Wibisono was staged at the Auditorium of the Indonesian-French Institute in Yogyakarta on Monday evening (1/7/2013). Adapted from a poem by writer Joko Pinurbo, the play tells the story of human anxiety in facing life’s crossroads that lead to a choice.

This poet based in Yogyakarta has received several awards for his literary works. According to the Yogyakarta City Cultural Office website, Jokpin received the Jakarta Art Council Poetry Book Award in 2001. In the same year, he also received the Lontar Literary Award and was selected as one of Tempo’s Literary Figures.

He also received the Language Agency of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Literary Award (2002), Kusala Sastra Khatulistiwa Prize (2005), Tempo Magazine’s Literary Figure Choice Award (2012), Language Agency of the Ministry of Education and Culture’s Literary Award (2014). His other awards include the Southeast Asia Writers Award (2014), Kusala Sastra Khatulistiwa Prize (2015), and the DIY Governor’s Cultural Award (2019).

Also read: Joko Pinurbo’s poems

Based on information received by Kompas, Jokpin’s body will be laid to rest at the PUKY Funeral Home, Bantul Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY). The poet’s body will be buried in Sleman Regency, DIY, on Sunday (27/4/2024).

Joko Pinurbo has left behind sweet memories and works that have colored the world of Indonesian literature. Farewell and may he fulfill his duty of poetry in the hereafter.


Dorothea Rosa Herliany, winner of the prose category (left), and Joko Pinurbo, winner of the poetry category, pose for a photo after receiving the Kusala Sastra Khatulistiwa award in Jakarta, on Thursday (14/12/2016).

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