Book Launch: Negative Space

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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...

Written by: Luljeta Lleshanaku
Translated by: Ani Gjika

New Directions in partnership with the Albanian Institute New York.

Please join us as we celebrate thepublication of Negative Space with Luljeta Lleshanaku and Ani Gjika in person.

In Luljeta Lleshanaku’s new collection of poems, Negative Space, childhood memories of the dictatorship in Albania disperse into a calm that shrouds everyday life with numinous mystery. Lleshanaku joins essayist Eliot Weinberger, and her translator Ani Gjika, for the New York City launch of Negative Space. 

“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

Please note that places are limited and will be available on a first come first served basis.

Brooklyn Launch: 
Friday May 11, 2018 at 7PM
Venue: McNally Jackson Williamsburg, 76 N 4th Street, Brooklyn 11249

NYC Launch:
Saturday May 12, 2018 at 6PM
Venue: Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York 10282

Luljeta Lleshanaku

Luljeta Lleshanaku is internationally known as Albania’s most important and inventive poet of her generation. A winner of International Kristal Vilenica Prize in 2009, she is the author of seven books of poetry in Albanian and six poetry collections in other languages. Lleshanaku has worked as a lecturer, literary magazine editor, journalist, and screenwriter, and is currently the research director at Tirana’s Institute of Studies of Communist Genocide. She is the author of eight poetry collections published in Albania. New Directions also publishes her collections Child of Nature and Fresco: Selected Poems. 


Ani Gjika is an Albanian-born poet, writer, and literary translator, and the author of Bread on Running Waters. A native of Albania, Gjika moved to the U.S. at age 18 and earned an MA in English at Simmons College and an MFA in poetry at Boston University. Her other honors include awards and fellowships from the Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship, the Banff Centre International Literary Translators Residency, and the Robert Fitzgerald Translation Prize. Gjika’s own poetry has appeared in Seneca Review, Salamander, Plume, From the Fishouse, and elsewhere. Her translations from the Albanian have appeared in World Literature Today, Ploughshares, AGNI Online, Catamaran Literary Reader, Two Lines Online, From the Fishouse, and elsewhere.

Ani Gjika


Brigel Gjoka Riley Watts

Museum as Score

Don’t miss Albanian Institute’s choreographer and artistic curator, Brigel Gjoka and Riley Watts performing “Duo” by William Forsythe at the Philadelphia Museum of Art!

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