Luljeta Lleshanaku/Albania, 1968
Luljeta Lleshanaku (1968, Albania) studied Albanian Philology and Literature at the University of Tirana and later graduated with an MFA from Warren Wilson College, USA. She worked as journalist, TV author, university teacher, and lately as a history researcher. She is the author of nine poetry collections, which have been extensively translated and published in other languages. Her last book in English Negative Space won the English PEN award and was a finalist for the GRIFFIN International Poetry Prize 2019 in Canada and a finalist for PEN America 2019. Lleshanaku is also the recipient of the 2009 Kristal Vilenice award and, recently, the European Poet of Freedom 2022 laureate in Gdansk, Poland.