How does a writer translate war? And when the war is over, how does the individual reconstruct his world from the ruins? . . . I first came to know Bajraj’s work by reading some of his poems in Albanian online. I was quickly drawn to the simplicity of language and the beautiful poems of intense desire. He lives in Mexico, in exile since the war in Kosovo, and a lot of his poetry is equally attentive to both the desire and the loneliness inherent in that fate.
— Ani Gjika, from her Note on the Translation, in Slaying the Mosquito, A Monodrama
Bajraj’s poems capture the troubled voice of the foreigner in a strange land; a place tethered, painfully and inextricably, to the past. Bajraj’s Mexico City, populated by fallen angels and the ghosts of the poet’s war-torn past, is an uneasy place, one in which even the most mundane of activities is tinged with darkness . . . The images he evokes are clean and beautiful, uncrowded, like deep, neat wounds. When translating these images, I sought to capture their innocence, their childlike beauty, which contrasts so starkly with the dark nightmares of Bajraj’s memory.
— Alice Whitmore, Translator’s Note, Five Poems by Xhevdet Bajraj, Seizure, Australia