Visar Zhiti


Visar Zhiti (1952-) was born in Durres. He finished school and taught in the northern town of Kukes. In 1973, while working on his poetry collection, "Rapsodia e jetes se trendafilave (Rhapsody of the life of roses)", he was accused of having transgresseed the strict and severe ideological boundaries of socialist realism. Imprisoned in 1979, undergoing five months of solitary confinement, he composed and memorized 97 poems (pencil and paper weren't allowed in jail). Sentenced to ten years, some of which were spent in the terrible copper mines of Spac, and in the remote mountain prison of Qafe-Bari, he was finally released in 1987, but had to work in a brick factory until the dictatorship ended. In 1991 he left for Italy and spent his first year in twelve as a free man. Visar Zhiti is remarkable in that he harbours no sense of revenge or bitterness towards the political system of his country. He has a strong sense of the power of myth, and this is reflected in much of his work.

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