Alisa Velaj 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” is published by Aquillrellle in June 2015.
The three poems published here are included in the book “A Gospel of Light” published by Aquillrellle. Alisa Velaj’s poems are translated into English by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj.
Alisa Velaj was born in the southern port town of Vlora, Albania in 1982. She studied Albanian Language and Literature at the University of Tirana and earned a MA in Literature under the writer Mitrush Kuteli. Velaj now teaches Literature at the University of Durres. She is the author of two verse collections: Themelet e eres (Foundations of the wind) and Drejt ajrit (To air). Her works has appeared in a number of print and online international magazines, including Blue Lyra Review, One title reviews, The Cannon’s Mouth (UK), The missing slate (UK), The Midnight Diner (USA), Poetica (USA), Ti
me of Singing(USA 2014 and 2015), Canto (USA), Enhance ( USA), Ann Arbor Review (USA) The French Literary Review (UK),SpeedPoets ( Australia), LUMMOX Poetry Anthology 3 (USA), Erbacce (UK), FourW twenty-five Anthology (Booranga Writers' Centre, Australia), Poetry Super Highway (USA), Knot Magazine (USA), The Otter (USA), The Journal (UK),Phenomenal Literature (New Delhi, India), The Brighter Light Poetry Anthology (CANADA), The Atherton Review(USA), Immagine & Poesia, Vol. 2 - Project ( e-book) (CANADA), Section 8 Magazine (USA) Miele 1110( Belgium), WritingRaw Poetry (USA) and in the Anthology by Mago Books. (USA) She has also works in forthcoming issues of The Dallas Review (USA), Poetica (USA) and in three forthcoming issues of The Linnet's Wings(UK).
Once upon a time, sunflowers grew
Far from you,
With their face always turned
At this gloomy night
When crickets sing hymns to sadness,
I am telling about these temples of light
To you who loved lilies and daisies,
Burning with the same ardent fire.
I am telling it to you,
My love coming the homeland of waves,
And even dying strange deaths…
For my brother, Egon
Birds have freedom inherent in their blood
All they need is to see a small piece of sky
My brother, you are a Phoenix reborn due to our toilsome efforts
Yet only once in a blue moon we can become your sky
The journey towards the truth
Is long, very long
So thoughts must bear
With the eagle’s eyes
Feeding on clear light
With the sharp sword
Always pointed to itself…
My ancestor –
The Dolphin – conceived
Through the land of ice
And the test of fire…
Rowing the boat
Through the waters full of ice,
My selves sweated
More than when being near the flames…
My ancestor – the Dolphin
Swims slowly under a grizzled moon…
Alisa Velaj’s poems are translated into English by Ukë Zenel Buçpapaj.