Iliriana Sulkuqi ( Albania- USA)

Iliriana Sulkuqi ( Albania- USA)

Iliriana Sulkuqi (Fejzullai) was born in the city of Elbasan ( Albania) in 1951. Iliriana Sulkuqi studied at the Armed Forces Academy. Sulkuqi also completed studies in linguistics, literature, and philosophy.

Upon graduating until 1995 Iliriana Sulkuqi was an officer at the Armed Forces Academy and is a lieutenant colonel. While an officer Sulkuqi was also a journalist for the military press: a time in which Sulkuqi gave her contribution as an editor at the Armed Forces Publishing House. Her latest engagement as a journalist was for “Drita” (The Light) newspaper, a publication of the Albanian Writers Union. Currently, Iliriana Sulkuqi overseas the publication of Pelegrin, a literary magazine. Since 2004 Iliriana Sulkuqi resides in New York.

Iliriana Sulkuqi began to write at an early age.  Sulkuqi has received numerous national and international awards. Her poems have appeared translated in: Italian, Greek, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, and English, and have been included in several anthologies published in Albania and elsewhere. An entrance about Iliriana Sulkuqi could be found in the Albanian Encyclopedia of Journalists and “Leksikoni i shkrimtareve Shqiptare 1501-2001” (The Leksikon of Albanian Writers 1501-2001) authored by Hasan Hasani.

Iliriana Sulkuqi is the author of several books of poetry. Currently she is in the process of publishing two more books “My homes in Kosova”, and “Po plaaas…!” ( I’m fed up), a dedication to her hometown Elbasan: a collection of essays, poetry, short stories, interviews and correspondence.

“Kësulkuqja” (Little Red Riding Hood) a children’s magazine, was Sulkuqi’s idea who also contributed to its publication. 3000 copies of the magazine were donated to children in Kosova and Macedonia. Further, Iliriana Sulkuqi was the contributor and initiator of an anthology of works by Albanian writers in Exile titled “Perëndim i malluar” (Longing for the sunset), edited by Dhori Thanas, published by “Arberia” Publishing House.

Since 1974 Iliriana is a member of the Albanian Writers Union; since September 30, 2003 a member of the International Federation of Journalists; member of the Albanian- American Academy of Arts and Science (January 5, 2006); member of the Albanian Writers Club Drita.

Published book’s:

“Më kërkojnë sytë e nënës” ( My mother’s eyes are looking for me) (1974)

– Ç’u fala stinëve që ikën?” (To the seasons, my offer) (1988)

-“Të jesh grua” (What it means to be a woman) (1990)

-“Do të jetoj”( I will keep on living)( Rozafa Publishing1996)

-“Trokit dhe zgjo” (Knock and awaken) ( Egnatia Publishing  2000)

-“Kush ma vrau OFELINË” (Ofelia is murdered)– Italian -Albanian (Toena-2000)

-“Për një mollë që hëngri Eva…”(For the bite that Eve took)(  Prishtina 2002)

-“(F) Shihemi në sy”( ‘F’ look my way) ( 2002)

-“Pulëbardhë në det’ të zi”(Seagull over troubled seas) (Ilar Publishing  2002)

-“Lirika” (Lirics) (Medaur Publishing-2003)

-“Hajku”- bashkëautorë (Egnatia Publishing-2004)

-“…Më kërkon falje” (…Asking forgiveness) (Arbëria Publishing-2004)

– “ Poezi” (Collection of poems) ( Snaj Publishing-2007)

– The Candles of Galaxy, “ADA” -2009

– Break Out – vol. 1 (“Egnatia”, 2009

– Break Out – Volume2 (“ADA” – 2016)

– Life Walk Through Dreams (“ADA” -2016)


1.Today I Baptized Love (“Adonis” -2018)

  1. Dreamless Without Traffic lights (“Adonis” -2018)
  2. Meeting with the Waiting – (“Adonis” -2018)

– Colorful flavor – the meditation and poetry of Elbasan’s writers (“Adonis” – 2018)

– Word for Tomorrow … (“Adonis” – 2019))

Other publications:

Poetry Anthology “Remember Poet”, with works from poets that are no longer alive (co-author with K. Traboini)

Creative Calendar: Authors of the Written Word (art, culture, science, pedagogy) of the City of Elbasan

Small format books of “Remembrance” dedicated to poets:

  1. Betim Muço – Freedom is like a Boomerang
  2. Ndoc Gjetja – The Poet Christ
  3. Frederik Reshpja – The Poet of Loneliness
  4. Miliano Kallupi – Hajku Sigh
  5. Murat Isaku – Roots

(in the process of publication, are small formats books of remembrance for Martin Camaj, Qazim Shemaj, Bajazit Cahani and Vasil Dede).

A study about Iliriana Sulkuqi’s poetry called “POETRY AS ANOTHER ‘DEBT’ FOR THE TIME BEING” was edited and published by Prof. Dr. Fatmir Terziu (Lulu, USA 2016) and (Milosao, 2017).


Third prize for her poetry collection ”Ç’u fala stinëve që ikën” (I prayed to the parting seasons), (1988) an award given on the occasion of celebrating the 45 anniversary of Peoples Army of Albania, organized by the Ministry of Defense and the Writers Union;

First Prize on the competion marking the 45 anniversary of the magazine “Shqiptarja e Re” (The New Albanian Woman) (15.9. 1988)

Third prize for the bilingual poetry volume “My Ofelia was killed! Oiii…Oiii…!” awarded by the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Sports and the Writers Union on the occasion of Albanian Poetry Day “Lulet e Veres” (Summer Flowers), May 2001.

First Prize, for the best love poem, on the Days of Balkan Poetry 2.06. 2002- Korçë

Special award on the Balkan gathering Ditet e Asdrenit Skopje

First prize for the best poetry during the gathering Pellumbat e Bashtoves (Bashtova’s Doves), awarded by the Durres Branch of the Albanian Writers Union, 4 Tetor 2005.

“Migjeni” Award (2007) by “Kuvendi”, a magazine published in Michigan, U.S.A.

“Ali Asllani” Award (May 2006) awarded by the Albanian Embassy in Athens and the Albanian Writers Club Drita for Sulkuqi’s poetry volume “ Poems”

– Iliriana Sulkuqi, was awarded the “Distinguished City Artist” award on 24 September 2009 at the “Poeteka 2009” event by the City of Elbasan “For a remarkable and qualitative contribution to creation and promotion of artistic values in the field of poetry, and remaining a worthy citizen of the City of Elbasan”.

– On 13 March 2018 the City of Elbasan awarded her with the “Gratitude of the City” award for being “Elbasan’s blessed daughter for her Brilliant Poetry and for honouring her birthplace”.

– Albanian Art and Culture Center awarded her the title “PRINCIPLE OF ALBANIAN ART AND CULTURE” “For her extraordinary contribution as a poet. As a devoted promoter of Albanian culture. By delivering pure poetic speech and clear artistic and human concepts to elevate to the highest peaks, in every corner of the world, the identity of Albanian art and literature”.

– Iliriana Sulkuqi was proclaimed “AMBASSADOR OF PEACE” by the World Peace Federation (October 2011).

– Iliriana Sulkuqi is honored with the title “MOTHER THERESA,” for displaying “Reflection of Kindness, Peace, Love for a Special Contribution to Art, Culture and Humanism”, Skopje, 2016.

Iliriana Sulkuqi’s life and work is depicted in a documentary film (in Albanian and English) which was a collaborative work between Angjelina Xhara, Ilia Terpini, Kolec Traboini, and Margarita Xhepa.

Critics and writers alike have praised Iliriana Sulkuqi’s poetry:

Dritëro Agolli- poet, writer, academian; Xhevahir Spahiu-poet, academian; Moikom Zeqo-poet, scholar; Odhise Grillo-children’s books writer; Skënder Hasko-children’s book writer; Anton Çefa-poet, writer, journalist, critic(USA); Faruk Myrtaj-writer, literary translator; Klara Kodra-poet, scholar, literary translator; Pëllumb Kulla – writer ( Awarded with Mjeshter i Madh title)(USA);Fatmir Terziu-writer, journalist, critic, literary translator(UK); Nase Jani-poet, writer, publisher, Chair of the Writer’s Club “Drita” (The Light) in Greece; Sokol Jakova – writer, critic; Dalip Greca- editor of Illyria, New York; Kristo Tumanidhis -poet, scholar, literary translator (Greece); Vasil Qesari- journalist, writer (France);Abas Veizi-writer, poet, editor, literary translator, publisher; Visar Zhiti-poet, writer; Demir Gjergji-poet, writer, journalist; Kolec Traboini-poet, critic; Vangjea Mihaj Steryu-poet, writer (Skopje, Macedonia), Head of the Arumenian Writers Union; Puntorie Ziba-poet, writer (Skopje, Macedonia);Fatime Kulli-poet, writer, journalist;Aleko Likaj-writer, journalist (France); Valdete Antoni-poet, journalist; Miradije Maliqi- writer (Switzerland); Nehat S. Hoxha-writer, critic, literary translator (Prishtina, Kosova); Esat Teliti – film producer; Rami Kamberi-writer, critic (Macedonia);Rrezarta Reci – journalist, publicist; Tinka Kurti – Aritste e Popullit, actress; Margarita Xhepa – Artiste e Popullit, actress; Dr. Anna Kohen- President of the Albanian American Women Organization, etc.


Find me a title
Without the word fire
Without the word ice
Without the word death
Without hunger, without thirst…
Without a waning voice…
Without a single tear,
Without God’s name,
Without my name
Without your name…
Without damp colours
Without soil from the moon
Without a burned sun
Without malice, without revenge,
Without a fairytale word
Without nightly dreams
Without waves or storms
Without the kiss of a breeze
Without a wavelet, without a coast
Without an arrival, without a path…
Find me a title
Without the name of a bird
Without the name of a star
Without the name of a mountain
Without the name of an island
Or ocean…
Without the beating of hearts
Without the inquietude of longing…
Without a golden autumn
Without winter, without frost
Without a pollen season
Without a naked summer…
Find me a title
Without a pentagram
Where notes play
With our souls.
And sings a song…
To Love I give my soul
To hate – only Love
And sings of sorrow a beautiful song:
Take me every which way taxi driver
And halt thither where the teardrop anchors
And my teardrop do veil
And halt thither where the silence blazes
Where the soul is set on fire from a thrill
Where eyes refuse to see, where heart shivers
Where the body feels palpable by a “djinn”
Where Earth and Sky fired
Ablaze as lightning-bolt
Where God descends, the dead are resurrected
Where the night covets the day
And sighs of night’s born sorrow:
Take me every which way Love
Over seven heavens, with seven moons,
With candles adorn my body!
From my eye
From my eye to yours
In soul – road
The tear melted…
From my eye to yours
Drop of tear
weighs as heavy
as the Earth…

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