Khairani Barokka

Cover description: Against a chartreuse background, ‘amuk’ is written in black cursive, inside two brackets. Above the title in the right-hand corner, in the same hand: the word ‘amuq’ in Jawi script, under which is the Filipino cognate ‘hamok’ written as ‘ha-mo’ in Baybayin, and underneath that is the Māori cognate ‘amo’ written in the Latin alphabet. Large, black brackets also surround the blurb on the back cover.

ISBN: 978-1-913437-88-6

eISBN: 978-1-913437-89-3

Price: £12.99

Publication date: 28th March 2024

Format: Paperback / eBook

Territories: World

Extent: 96pp

DCF: Poetry Collections

Cover artwork: Khairani Barokka


Khairani Barokka’s uncompromising third collection of poetry amuk sheds light on the devastating and ongoing effects of a single word's mistranslation, and emphasises what exists in opposition to such hostile histories and presents: hope, resistance, and joy.


Groundbreaking in its use of form and poetics, amuk deconstructs the brutal workings of oppressive systems to examine how, “through macheted etymology”, violence and suffering is replicated through (mis)translation. From linguistic corruption and domination, the poems make connections to the mutilation and ruin caused by an extractive colonialism that destroys whole peoples, cultures, languages, and environments. Through Khairani Barokka’s own recognition of "linguistic cosmology – how stars move and imprint upon the body", radical poems of fury and prayer look towards the sacred and ancestral, towards survival and continuance, and the vital, living resistance of persisting languages, and resilient peoples.

Praise for amuk:

amuk is Khairani Barokka's best book so far, exploring incisively the (linguistic) possibilities of resistance. 'amuk', the longest poem in the book, ingeniously enriches the discussion about Global South rage towards colonial powers. This book 'is/was/will-be' a gift.’ - Norman Erikson Pasaribu, author of Happy Stories, Mostly

‘Khairani Barokka’s poetry both makes and unmakes, picking apart the fabric and function of language so that we may put it to braver and more necessary use. amuk is the work of a visionary.’ - Victoria Adukwei Bulley

‘A poetic act of resurrection. A defiant and hope-giving epic of a collection, reversing colonisation's murders to restore its victims to life. In these poems, buds sprout from what was severed, forests spring from land made waste. The end transforms into a beginning, a prayer stretching its tender leaves towards the sun.’ - Tiffany Tsao


(Image description: A black and white photo of an Indonesian woman with black hair tied back. She is wearing lipstick, and a black and white daster, and is smiling to the camera against a white background.)

Khairani Barokka is a translator, editor, writer and artist from Jakarta, with over two decades of professional translation experience. In 2023, Okka was shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Okka’s work has been presented widely internationally, and centres disability justice as anticolonial praxis, and access as translation. Among her honours, she has been a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, a Delfina Foundation Associate Artist, an Artforum Must-See, and Associate Artist at the UK’s National Centre for Writing. Okka’s books include Indigenous Species (Tilted Axis), Rope (Nine Arches), and Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (as co-editor; Nine Arches). Her latest books are Ultimatum Orangutan (Nine Arches), shortlisted for the 2022 Barbellion Prize, and 2024's amuk (Nine Arches).

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Khairani Barokka's second poetry collection is an intricate exploration of colonialism and environmental injustice: her acute, interlaced language draws clear connections between colonial exploitation of fellow humans, landscapes, animals, and ecosystems. Amidst the horrifying damage that has resulted for peoples as interlinked with places, there is firm resistance.

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