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Interrogation Records

Interrogation Records


To this day, there exists a black hole of silence in Indonesia's socio-political climate in acknowledging the 1965 Indonesian mass killings as what they were-tragedy. Jeddie Sophronius’ Interrogation Records is a rare docupoetry collection that explores and calls into question the 'official' narratives revolving around the 1965 massacre.


Also known as “The Communist Purge,” the massacre resulted in the slaughter of members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and anyone accused of affiliations to it-many of whom were civilians-by the Indonesian army. Throughout the collection, the voice of Sophronius’ speaker/researcher is quiet but always present, contending with the aftermath of state violence and silencing, in a masterful blend of personal and collective history, memory, and remembering. Sophronius presents both authoritative and artistic language in the same plane, urging us to consider how documents, archives, and testimony may hold affective power and excavate a different truth.


Within a climate of silence and erasure, Interrogation Records is a remedy of collective amnesia.

庫存單位: 978-1-958652-07-7
  • Tech Specs

    ISBN: 978-1-958652-07-7

    Title: Interrogation Records

    Subtitle: Poems

    Author: Jeddie Sophronius

    Format: Paperback

    Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5

    Page count: 120

    Pub month: 1 May, 2024

  • About the Author

    Jeddie Sophronius is the author of the poetry collections Happy Poems & Other Lies (Codhill Press, 2024), Love & Sambal (The Word Works, 2024), and the chapbook Blood·Letting (Quarterly West, 2023), a runner-up for Quarterly West’s 2022 Chapbook Contest. A Chinese-Indonesian writer, educator, and translator originally from Jakarta, he received his BA in English: Creative Writing from Western Michigan University and his MFA from the University of Virginia, where he served as the editor of Meridian. Their poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere, while their prose is forthcoming in The Third Coast and The Arkansas International. They currently live and teach in Charlottesville, VA. They divide their time between Indonesia and the United States. Read more of their work at


  • What Others Say

    “Interrogation Records by Jeddie Sophronius builds a bridge between the personal and political at a scale that lets us observe the changes taking place in the reader as they traverse that bridge. As a poet and researcher, I have wanted more US-based presses to publish documentary works that address underexpressed and understudied historical events that have taken place outside the United States. I have wanted us to expand our conversation about genocide, politicide, ethno-racial beliefs and prejudice, and the charge against communism out in open fora, especially through poetry. And I see in Jeddie’s book precisely such an occasion for us to have an expanded conversation.


    Jeddie’s book is a keen, sparse, documentary approach to archival records. Yet it is not bloodless or without passion. The most significant documentary poetry tethers us to the historic event with the poetic line as if it were our very sinews. It implicates us at the arteries, it calls us into an enfleshed attachment. It enlivens the dead texts of archives, reanimates them so that we recall and revere the human lives that they document. It intentionally shapes verse and prose so that that our own relationship with the historical event is not dominated by habitual and superficial empathy, but is built slowly through the greater facilities that reading can engender: curiosity, critical judgment, generous discernment born of difficulty, and a luminous attention to bureaucratic language which structures yet obscures so much of our social existence.


    In his poem ‘The Sinner’s Mantra’ Jeddie quotes the adage from Karl Marx’s ‘Critique of the Gotha Program’: ‘From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.’ And if I may, I would say: Jeddie’s great and significant ability, in his book, matches our great and significant need to learn more about the Indonesian killings of 65-66. So, I receive his book as a gift and a redress of silence. And every time we learn history through poetry that intentionally unsilences the archives, we are unwriting a master-narrative, we are writing and reading as a prevention of erasure, we are writing and reading as a cure for amnesia.”

    —Divya Victor, winner of the 2022 PEN America Open Book Award


    “Interrogation Records is a stunning work by a keen poetic intellect. Writing at the intersection of history and remembrance, Sophronius contends with the multigenerational aftermath of state violence and the powerful forces of historical erasure. The ongoing inheritance Sophronius excavates in these lyrics is part-memory, part-burden, part-presence, part-silence. Each poem feels hard-won from the mysterious cultural machinery we call “archive,” lifted into astonishing, often heartbreaking, utterance. In its possession of the visual field of the page, in its formal rigor, and in its virtuosic expression, Interrogation Records invites us on a remarkable journey.”

    —Kiki Petrosino, author, White Blood: A Lyric of Virginia


    “Interrogation Records lays bare a powerful affective archive of the 1965 mass killings in Indonesia and their aftermath. The poetry collection does not seek to depict the atrocity as an isolated historical event; Jeddie Sophronius instead takes on the more compelling, indeed the more pressing task of trying to understand and express how society remembers and forgets crimes of the state generations after that violence took place. How to make history carry collective meaning, how to make the past felt, how to make documents and archives and testimony hold affective power—these are the questions Interrogation Records explores, and indeed the political concerns that most urgently require poetic language. Sophronius constructs a series of dialogues across the multi-layered discourse about 1965, offering insightful critiques of public perception, state ideologies, and propaganda while engaging numerous voices--scholarly, testimonial, ghostly, intimate. From reflections on identity and belonging to biting satire of euphemisms employed by the state to obscure fear, pain, and the striking elimination of human life, Interrogation Records is a search for the fragmented traces of memory that scatter present-day Indonesia.”

    —Lara Norgaard, translator


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