Universitas Gadjah Mada’s publishing house has launched a poetry-photography anthology titled Behind the Lens of Words, which is a collaboration between Dr. Novi Indrastuti, M.Hum., Indonesian Literature lecturer, and Prof. Dr. Harno Dwi Pranowo, M.Si., chemistry professor of UGM. The launching was done at Tembi cultural house in Bantul on Friday (21/4) , attended by literary figure, Prof. Dr. Rachmat Djoko Pradopo, UGM Vice-Rector for Human Resource and Assets, Prof. Dr. Ir. Budi Santoso Wignyosukarto, Dip.HE, and Dean of Faculty of Cultural Sciences UGM, Dr. Wening Udasmoro, M.Hum., DEA.
The book contains poems that are accompanied by photographs of each. Novi wrote the poems while Harno produced the photos. According to Novi, she would give each of the poems to Harno who would complement it with a photo. Novi gives him the freedom to make interpretations of her poems.
“After I wrote the poem, I did not want to influence my colleague’s imagination so that the photo is his interpretation of my poem,” Novi said.
Harno said generally a photographic work was produced first before the poem. But for them, it was the poem that came first before the photo. “Intepretation of the poem becomes the photo challenge for me in this book production,” said Harno.
Behind the Lens of Words contains poems that tell the story of human life. Topics related to deity, natural sceneries, travels and others are presented in the book. “The poem-photography anthology combines real and imaginary matters, full of love, passion, and spirit,” said Wening commenting on the book.
Furthermore, poet Rachmat Djoko Pradopo also read two of Novi’s works Holding Great Heritage and Yellow Leaves Fertilise the Earth, also musicalisation of the book. Novi hoped the book would trigger the wider public, especially writers and photogaphers to create a great collaboration. “This book is just a start, in the future we would produce a similar book and others,” said Harno.