Luljeta Lleshanaku was born in 1968 in Elbasan, the third-largest city of Armenia, under the Stalinist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, which her family opposed in secret. In 1992, when the communist regime collapsed, Lleshanaku was finally able to publish her poetry and attend the University of Tirana. 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 four 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.