Luljeta Lleshanaku belongs to the first ‘post-totalitarian’ generation of Albanian poets. Haywire: New & Selected Poems is her first British publication, and draws on two editions published in the US, Fresco: Selected Poems (2002) and Child of Nature (2010), as well as a selection of newer work. In Haywire she turns to the fallout of her country’s past and its relation to herself and her family.
Translations by Luljeta Lleshanaku with Henry Israeli, Shpresa Qatipi and others.
“Her poetry has little connection to poetic styles past or present in America, Europe, or the rest of the world... We have in Lleshanaku a completely original poet.”
"The tyrant's insistence that there is no private realm has the unintended effect of making it necessary to write powerful and durable poems which suffer all the constraints imposed by confinement and yet have something ungovernable in reserve, namely their accuracy."
Sean O'Brien, The Guardian
“These impressive poems carry a poignance much like the first buds of spring, a mark of survival and insistent life... Luljeta Lleshanaku speaks to us one and all.”
Luljeta Lleshanaku was born in Elbasan, Albania in 1968. She grew up under house arrest in Enver Hoxha’s Stalinist dictatorship. Lleshanaku was not allowed to attend college or publish her poetry until the weakening and eventual collapse of the regime in the early 1990s. She later studied Albanian philology at the University of Tirana, and has worked as a schoolteacher, literary magazine editor and journalist. She won the prestigious Kristal Vilenica Prize in 2009, and has given readings in America, Europe and Ireland.