Gëzim Hajdari

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About the author

Widely recognized as one of the major poets of our times, Gëzim Hajdari was born in 1957 in Hajdaraj, Albania. He acquired his early education in his home town, trained as an accountant, then graduated in Albanian Language and Literature at the A. Xhuvani University in Elbasan and in Modern Letters at La Sapienza University in Rome.
     In 1991, Hajdari was among the founders of the opposition Democratic and Republican parties of the town of Lushnje, and was elected Republican district secretary. In the same year he co-founded the opposition weekly Ora e Fjalës and worked as its vice-director while also contributing to the national daily, Republika. In the 1992 political elections he ran as a Republican parliamentary candidate. In the course of his intense political activity and his work as a journalist, Hajdari often spoke out against the crimes and abuses perpetrated by the old Hoxha nomenklatura and by the post-communist government. For this and other reasons, following repeated threats, he was forced to leave Albania in 1992.
     Since 1993 Hajdari, who writes both in Albanian and Italian, has published many books, among which are thirteen collections of poetry and several translations, including I canti dei nizàm (a collection of songs of the Albanian soldiers conscripted into the Ottoman army). Translated into several languages, his poetry is the subject of three major monographs to date and has been awarded a number of prizes. For his literary merits, Hajdari has been granted honorary citizenship of Frosinone, the Italian town south of Rome where he has lived in exile since 1992.