Luljeta Lleshanaku: Negative Space

FRI, MAY 4, 2018 (1:04:17)

“Language arrived fragmentary / split in syllables / spasmodic / like code in times of war,” writes Luljeta Lleshanaku in the title poem to her powerful new collection Negative Space. In these lines, personal biography disperses into the history of an entire generation that grew up under the oppressive dictatorship of the poet’s native Albania. Lleshanaku instills ordinary objects and places—gloves, used books, acupuncture needles, small-town train stations—with subtle humor and profound insight, much as a child might discover a world in a grain of sand.

Part of the Transnational Literature Series at the Brookline Booksmith.

+ BIO: Luljeta Lleshanaku

Luljeta Lleshanaku was born in Elbasan, Albania. She grew up under house arrest during Enver Hoxha’s Stalinist regime. Lleshanaku has worked as a lecturer, literary magazine editor, journalist, and screenwriter, and is currently the research director at Tirana’s Institute of Studies of Communist Genocide. She is the author of eight poetry collections published in Albania. Her books have received many national and international awards and have been translated into several languages.

+ BIO: Ani Gjika

Ani Gjika is the author of Bread on Running Waters, a finalist for the 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize and 2011 May Sarton New Hampshire Book Prize. A native of Albania, Gjika moved to the U.S. at age 18 and earned an MA in English at Simmons College and an MFA in poetry at Boston University. Her translation of Luljeta Lleshanaku's Negative Space, for which she received an NEA and English PEN award, was published in 2018 from Bloodaxe Books in the UK and New Directions in the US. Her other honors include awards and fellowships from the Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, the Banff Centre International Literary Translators Residency, and the Robert Fitzgerald Translation Prize. Gjika's own poetry has appeared in Seneca Review, Salamander, Plume, From the Fishouse, and elsewhere. Her translations from the Albanian have appeared in World Literature Today, Ploughshares, AGNI Online, Catamaran Literary Reader, Two Lines Online, From the Fishouse, and elsewhere.

Partner
Brookline Booksmith
Series
Poetry Month Series
Transnational Literature Series
Recommended Lectures