A fresh voice from the Balkans by an award winning poet from Albania, Lleshanaku’s Child of Nature explores her country’s past in intense and powerful lyrics.
In my house praying was considered a weakness,
like making love.
And like making love
it was followed by a long night
so alone with the body.
Lleshanaku belongs to the first “post-totalitarian” generation of Albanian poets. Child of Nature
is her second poetry collection in English. Here she turns to the fallout of her country’s past and its relation to herself and her family. Through intense, powerful lyrics, she explores how these histories intertwine and influence her childhood memories and the retelling of her family’s stories. Sorrow, death, imprisonment, and desire are some of the themes that echo deeply in Lleshanaku’s beautiful poems, poems that Peter Constantine has called “contemporary classics of world literature.” Of her work, Albanian novelist Ridvan Dibra writes, “When you close her book, the images don’t leave you. They cleave you open like a leopard’s paw, and enter into you. Once inside they create their own life, a second life, vastly different from the original. What more can we expect from real poetry, from true art?”
About Luljeta Lleshanaku
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Published February 25, 2010
by New Directions.
Literature & Fiction.