To the American reader there is nothing alien about the poetic distinction of the Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku. She is a love poet. But there is this difference. She makes explicit what it means to live in a violent and corrupt public world which penetrates privacy and betrays every intimacy. Her poet-work is to contradict all public ‘truth.’ Fresco is a book of radical constructive intelligence. It shows us, above all, how to assemble, against a great resistance, a human world which includes the most distant of all beings, those who love us and whom we love.
—Allen Grossman

Fresco

Poetry by Luljeta Lleshanaku

Fresco: Selected Poetry of Luljeta Lleshanaku introduces to English-speaking readers the arresting work of Luljeta Lleshanaku, one of Albania’s foremost younger poets. Born in Elbasan in 1968, she grew up under virtual house arrest because of her family’s opposition to the Stalinist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha. She is foremost among the first generation of poets to emerge out of the cultural wasteland of enforced socialist realism in the arts, reinventing Albanian poetry almost entirely from scratch. In a voice at once firm yet quiet and spare, with haunting imagery that challenges the imagination, her highly charged poems carry the burden of her own and her country’s past. For Fresco, editor Henry Israeli has gathered fifty-eight poems from Luljeta Lleshanaku’s published books (The Sleepwalker’s Eyes, 1992; Sunday Bells, 1994; Half-Cubism, 1996; Antipastoral, 1999) as well as some newer work. His Afterword places her writing within its personal and social context, while an Introduction by the award-winning translator Peter Constantine views the poet from the wider perspective of modern Albanian literature.

Editions: Paperback

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Paperback (published April 1, 2002)

ISBN
9780811215114
Price US
12.95
Trim Size
5x8
Page Count
96

Luljeta Lleshanaku

Contemporary Albanian poet

To the American reader there is nothing alien about the poetic distinction of the Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku. She is a love poet. But there is this difference. She makes explicit what it means to live in a violent and corrupt public world which penetrates privacy and betrays every intimacy. Her poet-work is to contradict all public ‘truth.’ Fresco is a book of radical constructive intelligence. It shows us, above all, how to assemble, against a great resistance, a human world which includes the most distant of all beings, those who love us and whom we love.
—Allen Grossman
These impressive poems carry a poignance much like the first buds of spring, a mark of survival and insistent life. In this bewildering human world such articulate determination proves again our common faith. Luljeta Lleshanaku speaks to us one and all.
—Robert Creeley
A child who paid for the political sins of her grandparents in Hoxha's Albania; a young poet who seems to have been writing for a hundred years in a language that's only been written for a hundred years; an erotic lyricist in the ruins of a state; Luljeta Lleshanaku is the real thing, and as unexpected as an oasis behind a mountain on the moon.
—Eliot Weinberger