Dritero Agolli, writer, publicist, social activist, member of Albanian Science Academy was born in Menkulas, Devoll. The first education was received in his fatherland and finished high school in “Asim Zeneli” school, in Gjirokastra, when he also firstly started to write poetry. In 1952-1957 he studied in the Literature University of Leningrad. In 1957-1972 he worked as an editor and journalist at the daily newspaper Zëri i Popullit (English: The People’s Voice). In 1973-1992 he  was head of the Albanian League of Writers and Artists. Dritero Agolli is one of the central figures of the Albanian poetry and one of the most important representatives of the 1960’ generation.

Critic towards the traditionalist credo and the rhetorical patriotism, Agolli brought in the Albanian poetry a fresh sensibility and figuration, by giving rebirth to the Albanian verse system. He is the messenger of the strong “ego” poems.  The tendency to the self-avowal was evident since his first book “I went out on the street” 1958, but it became clearer in the poems “Devoll-Devoll” and “Poem for my father and me”. The poetry of Agolli is not unraveling the general from the personal; it makes the synthesis of the collective with the individual. Agolli has conserved the best from the values of the traditional poetry – the people’s spirit. He created a new variety of verses, following Naim Frasheri, and aiming to the novelty. The path to his escalating poetical growth is expressed through the books:
My steps on the pavement - 1961, Mountain paths and sidewalks – 1965, Devoll Devoll – 1968, Fathers – 1969, Mother Albania – 1974, The word engraves the rock – 1977, I travel thoughtful – 1985, The late pilgrim – 1993, The time beggar – 1995, Midnight notebook – 1999. Agolli revealed a personal imagination on the “great theme”, seeking the poetic immensity by experiencing the common ordinary subjects; by expanding the reality space in the poetry and by modifying radically the relationship between them. This poetry influenced in general into a mild poetry atmosphere in Albania. The poetic creativity of Agolli in its core is lyric-epical, different from the traditional one, which was mainly founded in the epical glory. Agolli displaced the Albanian poetry from the general inquietude to the personal/human concern. His poetry is surrounded by the cult of the motherland, the earth, the bread, the plough, the family, the parent, the father.  The poetry is invaded by the living world, the animation of the environment, the sanctification of nature, of the field and of the cattle.  This feature of his poetry shows traces of Bektashi pantheist mentality. Read full biography

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