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Robert Elsie
Albanian Literature

Albanian Authors



Azem SHKRELI, 1992 (Photo: Robert Elsie).

Azem SHKRELI, 1992
(Photo: Robert Elsie).




Azem Shkreli (1938-1997) has been described as a poet of profound ideas and critical judgments. He was born in the Rugova mountains near Peja and became head of Kosova Film Studios in Prishtina. Shkreli is an intellectual poet who, though highly expressive, is by no means verbose. His urban perception of things has given new significance to his experience of rural customs among the rugged tribes of the Rugova highlands with their traditional wisdom and way of life. His early volumes of verse offered masterful portraits of these legendary mountain inhabitants. The idyllic though specifically organized landscape which Azem Shkreli paints does not blind him to problems of ethics. Much of his verse, a moral catharsis in words, is devoted to the oppressed peoples of the Third World, expressing a poetic solidarity with them against exploitation and suffering. Shkreli is also the author of the short story collection Sytë e Evës, Prishtina 1965 (Eve’s eyes), and the novel Karvani i bardhë, Prishtina 1960 (The white caravan).