Poetry from Albania



Luljeta Lleshanaku

Filmmaker Neil Astley with Luljeta Lleshanaku in Rathfarnham, Dublin, March 2010.

Poems: 'Marked' (English and Albanian), 'The Mystery of Prayers', 'Monday in Seven Days' (Parts 5 and 9), 'Memory'

(Original: Haywire: New & Selected Poems)

     Born in Elbasan, Albania in 1968, Luljeta Lleshanaku was heavily influenced by Enver Hoxha’s Communist dictatorship. Hardships of house arrest, not permitted to attend college, and blocking of publishing Lleshanaku's poetry were daily struggles. Not until the the collapse of Hoxha's Communist regime occurred, in the early 1990s, Lleshanaku was able to publish her works, study Albanian philology at the University of Tirana, and work as a schoolteacher, literary magazine editor, and journalist. Acknowledgements for her hard work include the International Kristal Vilenica Prize in 2009, a teaching post at the University of Iowa, and a fellowship from the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada. Additionally Lleshanaku has given readings in the United States and Europe; in Ireland at the Poetry Now Festival in DĂșn Laoghaire in 2010 and Poetry Parnassus at London's Southbank Centre in 2012; and produced her first British publication in 2011, Haywire: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2011).

Additional Material:

Interview with Luljeta Lleshanaku by SJ Fowler