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Alisa Velaj, translated from Albanian to English

by Laureta Petoshati

Denial

 

The lotus flowers greet

my homeland

during nights.

And then,

every morning

it denies

that it has heard

the song of the owl.

Obliteration

 

The bird of night

always is telling me

on a sunflower planted

into lotus-eaters΄ homeland.

I always disremember everything

that it tells me

when the daylight comes.

 

Alisa Velaj was born in the southern port town of Vlora, Albania in 1982. She has been shortlisted for the annual international erbacce-press poetry award in June 2014. She was also shortlisted for the Aquillrelle Publishing Contest 3 in January 2015 and was the first runner up in this contest. Velaj’s full length book of poetry “A Gospel of Light”, translated by Ukë ZENEL Buçpapaj, is published by Aquillrellle in June 2015. Her  works have appeared in many international magazines, including  The Cannon’s Mouth , The French Literary Review, The Journal , Phenomenal Literature , The Atherton Review, The Dallas Review , See Spot Run Magazine, Eunoia Review , The Linnet's Wings etc etc. She also has poems to publish in the forthcoming issues of Of/with Journal, Harbinger Asylum , The Seventh Quarry, Indiana Voice Journal , Clockwise Cat , Ink Sweat & Tears  and Poetry Scotland.

 

Laureta Petoshati is an Albanian poet, prose writer and translator. She attended Faculty of Engineering in University of Tirana for about five years and received a Master Degree in Civil Engineering in 1987. Then she frequented postgraduate courses in foreign languages ​​and worked in Vlora court as official translator. Nowadays she is committed to translations, literature and journalism.  She published her poetry collection Goddess of Heaven in 1996 and her historical novel Return to Ventotene in 2012. She continues to publish her poetry cycles in many national and international newspapers such Albanian American newspaper - "Illyria" in New York, or Knot Magazine, recently has published in WritingRow Assorted the essay Some Reflections about the Poem "Visit" of Zvika Szternfeld. As a poet she is a winner of one competition which took place in her hometown Vlora and as a translator she has won two national competitions and some of poems written by Alisa Velaj and translated by Laureta Petoshati are published in Section & Magazine, The Dallas Review and Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine. Other translations of Velaj’s poems will appear in the forthcoming issues of Of/with Journal, Harbinger Asylum ,The Seventh Quarry and Poetry Scotland (UK).