cover image Fresco: Selected Poetry of Luljeta Lleshanaku

Fresco: Selected Poetry of Luljeta Lleshanaku

Luljeta Lleshanaku. New Directions Publishing Corporation, $12.95 (80pp) ISBN 978-0-8112-1511-4

Born in 1968 to anti-Communist dissidents, Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku found her youthful work suppressed until the early '90s. Fresco: Selected Poetry of Luljeta Lleshanaku, edited and translated by poet Henry Israeli and introduced by Peter Constantine, presents to American readers one of the youngest and most prominent contemporary poets of her country, still emerging from the Stalinist grip of Enver Hoxha. Lleshanaku avoids overtly political content, though winter seems often to be approaching in her poems, and overcast skies and moody nighttime landscapes create a sense of resignation and timeless melancholy. One might say this was emblematic of the post-Communist mood, but Lleshanaku would probably say it runs deeper: ""There is no prophecy, only memory. What happens tomorrow has happened a thousand years ago the same way, to the same end...."" (Apr. 30)