A voice from Albania, somewhere I’ve never been, seems to know exactly what I’m thinking. This is all the more interesting as for a long time, the poet, Luljeta Lleshanaku, couldn’t go anywhere at all. Born in 1968, she grew up under house arrest. And yet she ranges wide.
She remembers what a city can do to you, years after you’ve left it.
Soon after I read this, I went back to Berlin, where I’d moved to now nearly twenty years before, and I was instantly reminded of this poem:
She remembers what names can do to you, even before you’ve got them:
She remembers that the space between things is where things happen.
Negative Space is translated by Ani Gjika, who describes translation as a “process of textual excavation, deep play, and continuing faith”; and all of this is involved in the reading, too. It is an adventure. Bloodaxe books has done it again!