» Maintenant #60: Luljeta Lleshanaku

It is hard to make a case against Luljeta Lleshanaku being the greatest Albanian poet of the modern era. Such is the measure of her work, and her repute across Europe and America. Her poetry reflects her marked humility and reverence for the written word, utterly unique and yet universal in a way that belies the overuse of that concept. Though a child of political exile and marginalization, let alone physical danger, her work remains dignified and singular, and nor does she allow her poetry to be dominated by the issues of her nation, of it’s politics and history. She is a voice that would be recognized as truly poetic in any language, in any setting and this perhaps her most remarkable achievement. A winner of the International Kristal Vilenica prize (following the likes of Peter Handke, Zbigniew Herbert & Milan Kundera) it is wonderful to announce her first work published in the UK will be released this September with Bloodaxe Books, already a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation, and she will be attending this year’s Aldeburgh poetry festival in November . It is honour to introduce the 60th edition of Maintenant, a pioneer of Balkan poetry and a rightfully major figure in the current European poetry landscape.