Luljeta Lleshanaku was born in 1968 in Elbasan, Albania, living under family house arrest during the years of Enver Hoxha’s autocratic communist rule. She was forbidden from pursuing a higher education under his rule, and only after the collapse of the regime was she was eventually able to study at the University of Tirana. She later earned an MFA from Warren Wilson College. Childhood features profoundly in her poetry, and her imagist poems employ surreal memories to evoke empathy, making the political personal. Presently, Lleshanaku is Research Director of the Institute of Studies of Communist Genocide in Tirana. She is the author of eight volumes of poetry, plus five in English, and other translations into German, Slovak, and French. In 2009, she won the prestigious Crystal Vilenica. Translated by Ani Gjika and published in 2018 by New Directions, her book Negative Space was shortlisted for the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize.