Laksmi Pamuntjak has since 1994 written columns and articles on politics, film, food, classical music and literature for Tempo Magazine, The Jakarta Post, The Jakarta Globe, Djakarta Mag, the socio-economic journal Prisma and elsewhere.

She is the author of the award-winning, bestselling Jakarta Good Food Guide — an annually updated new take on food writing — and co-founded Aksara, a bilingual bookstore in Jakarta. (

Pamuntjak's debut poetry collection, Ellipsis: Poems and Prose, appeared in the 2005 Books of the Year pages of The Herald UK, as one of the novelist Suhayl Saadi's recommended books of the year. She also translated and edited Goenawan Mohamad: Selected Poems which came out in 2004.

A treatise on violence and the Iliad entitled Perang, Langit dan Dua Perempuan (War, Heaven, and Two Women) came out in 2006, along with her first collection of short stories, The Diary of R.S.: Musings on Art.

The Anagram, her second poetry collection, was released in March 2007.

In September of the same year, she released her translation of Goenawan Mohamad’s book of aphorisms under the title On God and Other Unfinished Things.

Pamuntjak has been invited to literary readings, discussions and conferences in Amsterdam, Florence, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New Haven (Yale) and Manila and international literary festivals in Macedonia (Struga Poetry Evenings Festival), Australia (eg. Byron Bay Literary Festival, National Poetry Festival in Victoria), Canada (Wordfest Literary Festival in Calgary and Banff), The Hague (Winternachten International Festival), Hong Kong, Singapore, Ubud, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

Pamuntjak’s poetry and short fiction have appeared, among others, in Softblow; Takahe (NZ): QLRS (Vol. 11 no. 1, Jan 2012), Heat Literary Journal (Australia), Asia Literary Review (Autumn 2006, Vol. 3; Spring 2007, Vol. 4; Autumn 2007, Vol. 5; Prince Claus Fund Journal (Special Edition, #12, 2006); the Anthology of Writings from the Utan Kayu Biennale Literary Festival 2007, Not a Muse world poetry anthology (Haven Books: Hong Kong, 2009); Scalar Literary Magazine (Premier Edition, April 2010); Biblio Review of Books (2007); Asia Literary Review (Poetry Edition, November 2010). She also wrote the preface to Not a Muse: World Poetry Anthology (Haven Books: Hong Kong, 2009). In 2012, her poem “A Traveler’s Tale” was published in The World Record (edited by Neil Astley and Anna Selby, Bloodaxe Books: London, 2012) and included in the Rain of Poems (Casagrande: London, 2013).

In April 2009, she was appointed member of the international prize jury of the Prince Claus Fund for the period 2009-2011.

In 2012, Pamuntjak was selected by a panel headed by Simon Armitage to represent Indonesia at Poetry Parnassus in London. Poetry Parnassus gathered 204 poets from across the world as part of the Cultural Olympiad, in conjunction with the London Olympics 2012. The festival ran from 27 June to 2 July, 2012.

Pamuntjak’s debut novel, Amba, a modern take on the story of Amba and Bhisma in the Mahabharata, set against the context of one of the 20th century's bloodiest Communist purges and the Buru penal colony in the Moluccas, was published on 2 October 2012 by Indonesia's leading publishing house, Gramedia Pustaka Utama. In January 2013, Amba was already in its 3rd printing. It was the finalist of the Tempo Magazine’s Annual Best Work of Literature list in 2012, and shortlisted for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2013.

The English version of Amba was published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama exclusively for the Indonesian market under the title The Question of Red. The German edition of Amba/The Question of Red, published by Ullstein Verlag, will be out in Fall 2015.