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Negative Space
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Negative Space (Paperback)

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Albania's Luljeta Lleshanaku grew up in negative space, living under family house arrest during the years of Enver Hoxha's autocratic communist rule. Her recent poems are a response to what was missing then, not only in her life but for her whole generation, evoking absences, emptiness - what was unseen, unspoken or undone - through the concept of negative space. The space around objects, not the objects themselves, becomes the real, most significant part of an image, bringing balance to the whole of a composition, so enabling Lleshanaku to look back at the reality of her Albanian past and give voice to those who could not speak for themselves.Many of the poems are tied to no specific place or time. Histories intertwine and stories are re-framed, as in her long poem 'Homo Antarcticus', which traces the fate of an inspirational explorer who could adapt to months of near-starvation in sub-zero Antarctica but not to later life back in civilisation, one of a number of poems in the book relating to society's pressure on the individual. Sorrow and death, love and desire, imprisonment and disappointment are all themes that echo deeply in Lleshanaku's hauntingly beautiful poems. Negative Space draws on two recent collections published in Albania, Almost Yesterday (2012) and Homo Antarcticus (2015), and follows Haywire: New & Selected Poems, her first UK selection published by Bloodaxe in 2011, a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation which was shortlisted for the Corneliu M.

Popescu Prize in 2013. Negative Space is also a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation.

Fiction & PoetryPoetryPoetry by individual poets Publisher: Bloodaxe Books Ltd Publication Date: 22/02/2018 ISBN-13: 9781780374123  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Luljeta Lleshanaku was born in Elbasan, Albania in 1968. Under Enver Hoxha's Stalinist dictatorship, she grew up under house arrest. Lleshanaku was not permitted to attend college or publish her poetry until the weakening and eventual collapse of the regime in the early 1990s. She was eventually able to study Albanian philology and literature at the University of Tirana, and later attended the MFA Program at Warren Wilson College, USA. he has worked as a school teacher, literary magazine editor, screenwriter, television author and currently as a research director at the Institute of Studies of Communist Genocide in Albania. She was a fellow of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 1999, and received a fellowship from Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, 2008-2009. Bloodaxe published her first UK edition, Haywire: New & Selected Poems, a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation, in 2011, drawing on two editions published in the US by New Directions, Fresco: Selected Poems (2002) and Child of Nature (2010), as well as a selection of newer work, and it was shortlisted for the Corneliu M. Popescu Prize for poetry translated from a European language into English. A new selection, Negative Space, is due in 2018 from Bloodaxe in the UK and New Directions in the US, drawing on two recent collections published in Albania, Almost Yesterday (2012) and Homo Antarcticus (2015). She has won several prestigious awards for her poetry, including PEN Albania 2016 (from Albanian Pen Center), National Prize 'Silver Pen, 2000' for poetry, and the International Kristal Vilenica Prize (International Festival of Literature, Slovenia 2009). She is one of the winners of Prishtina Book Fair, 2013 (Kosovo); the winner of KULT Prize, 2013 in Albania for the best book of the year and was awarded 'Author of the Year' by the Publishers Association of Tirana Book Fair, 2013. Her second American collection, Child of Nature, was one of 2011 BTBA (Best Translated Book Award) poetry finalists. In 2012 she was one of two finalists in Poland for their European Poet of Freedom prize. She has published seven books of poetry in Albanian, and so far seven poetry collections translated into in other languages, including Antipastoral (Italy, 2006), Kinder der natur (Austria, 2010), Dzieci natury (Poland, 2011) and Lunes en Siete Dias (Seleccion) (Spain, 2017). She has given readings in America, Europe, Britain and in Ireland at the Poetry Now festival in Dun Laoghaire.

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