‘Spot On’ (Special Edition) with Royston John Kulleh


By DD Team

KUCHING, Sept 11: Today’s special ‘Spot On’ edition brings you Sarawak’s very own pride–an Iban poet, writer, singer, song writer and cultural activist Royston John Kulleh who is better known as Kulleh Grasi.

In April, Royston was the only Malaysian author who made it onto the long list of the Best Translated Book Awards 2020, an American literary award that focuses on bringing best original works of international fiction and poetry published in the previous years.

The nomination “Tell me, Kenyalang” is a collection of poems reflecting the collective worldview and emotions of the indigenous communities towards issues such as land, as well as his personal feeling while struggling through life as a creative writer and song writer in Sarawak.

Recently, “Tell me, Kenyalang” is also nominated for American National Award.


In the interview with ‘Spot On’, Royston shares stories of his ancestry, his life in Sarawak, his insights on education, and his view that content is more important than the form of which the content is presented.

Among the highlights during the 11-minute program are:

  1. ‘Kulleh’ an orang Ulu name, also one of the Iban leaders’ name back in the days
  2. Pen name ‘Grasi’ originated from ‘Nading Grasi’, a character from an Iban folklore
  3. Royston continues to embrace Mandarin after 6 years of Chinese education
  4. Telling stories through poems: World of literature is mysterious and sacred
  5. Lands and beauty of Sarawak the source of inspiration for Kulleh Grasi
  6. Good content is better than a nicely-designed book cover

‘Spot On’ is expected to be aired regularly. Stay tuned to Dayakdaily.com for more. —DayakDaily