Each day, he brings out a variety of poems from all over the world. Some of it is translated from multiple languages and some are in English. The blog is called Atunis. He is a well-known figure in the Albanian literary world, Agron Shele.
A multifaceted individual, Shele has authored novels and poetry collections and brings out anthologies regularly featuring writers from all over the world in the form of an annual publication called, Atunis Galaxis. Trained by various United Nations bodies, he is the chairman of the “Environment and Community” and “Children and youngsters” societies and the recipient of various literary awards in Albania. Currently, he resides in Belgium and continues to dedicate his time and efforts to publishing literary works with universal values. Universal values and spiritual development through literature for the benefit of mankind is a recurrent theme of this discussion. Let us now, plunge into the world this humanitarian visionary poet opens up for us.
What made you turn to writing? What languages do you write in?
My passion for writing came early in life and it relates to my childhood memories, as I initially began to read stories and legends by different authors. Fascinated by the majesty (beauty) of the descriptions of local and foreign authors, and the natural beauty of my homeland, I was inspired to write and research about written art, as one more form of communication; individual consciousness — contact with literary experiences (from mythology to postmodernism today) — the inner spiritual world. I write in Albanian, but my reading is not restricted to Albanian as I read in different languages as well.
You are also a professional management personnel. Does it affect your writing?
Of course, management also has a great influence on my work, as my collaboration is always with professional authors, with whom we do not only finish a single page of writing, but we also discuss the principles of a whole variety of different art themes, creative forms and structures on which a poem or prose is based and ultimately the latest trends and developments of universality thought.
When did you start Atunis? Tell us more about your blog. What is the intent of your blog?
Atunis Poetic Galaxy is an international link of writers, poets, and painters, which unites different nationalities with creative innovation but with a wide spiritual basis, to help the transmission of art in all ethical-cultural-social forms. Respect for diversity and different cultures forms a free literary spirit of communication between authors with full global literary identity. This is the goal of Atunis, a muse that circulates inside a global literary galaxy, where the journal explores art in the service of development, emancipation, divine justice, and human respect. The authors are united by the common literary spiritual force, described by a deep sense of aesthetics, motivated by an essential creative character and the revival of cultural values on the most civilized international scale. Atunis Poetic Galaxy was founded in 2011, registered under the Legislation and functions as a literary link, always in collaboration with other sister links and professional authors.
What does the name Atunis mean?
Atunis is a Pelasgian word. Fortunately, this word is preserved even today in the Albanian language and has the meaning: The father left, the horse left (definitive meaning) — Good luck!
How many poets have you published in your blog? Do you publish prose in your blog? What languages does your blog carry?
The Atunis Literary Page has many authors’ publications, for the simple reason that this site publishes authors from all over the world and in many foreign languages. It is currently a site that has over 1.2 million viewers, but what makes it special is not the quantity of publications, but the quality and elevated level of presentation. So not everyone can be published on the Literary Page. In terms of publications, Atunis publishes in all genres: poetry, prose, drama, translations, literary criticism, reports, etc.
The languages on the Atunis literary site are English, Albanian, Italian, Spanish, French, and Dutch.
You bring out an anthology regularly. What is the frequency and what do you look for in finding poets for your anthology?
The Atunis Literary League publishes the Atunis Literary Magazine and the Atunis Anthology. We have published Literary Magazine (hardcopy): Atunis (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) — (Albanian, English, Italian) and literary anthologies: Atunis Galaxy Anthology (2018, 2019, 2020). The authors are represented through the literary correspondence of the members of the Board of Directors with professional authors and with other International Connections (IWA-USA), IPTC (Asia), WPS, and many other connections in Europe and Poetas Del Mundo (Latin America).
Is your anthology always in English? Tell us more about the anthology.
Of course, it is. Atunis Galaxy Anthology is published in English and annually selects the literary feeds of successful authors. The magic of the word is the best articulation of synthesis and symbiotic memory and when words are raised into art, the expressed power touches on the apex at a new important level. Literature with its magical touch and its mysticism has always attracted many turbulent souls, souls that are reborn over the flirting of creational beauty, the beauty of life, natural beauty. Literature reflects the aspirations, values, and the purest thoughts on humanity. It captures such an important level of human vitality, where the word is transformed into a myth, into the production of genius ideas that moulds and shapes endlessly our civilization.
How do you tackle a variety of languages? Do you have a team or manage yourself?
Atunis Poetic Gakatika is a literary link managed by the Board of Directors, where each member of the Board is responsible not only for the country he represents, but also a basic language through which an author is introduced.
How do you juggle time between your development as a writer, the blog, and anthologies?
My free time is not only managed as a publisher but also as a creator. In my spare time, I edit books of colleagues, write in prose or poetry, and I write prefaces to books written by different authors.
Do you translate too? Poetry? Do you find the original and the translation at variance?
I am not a translator and I consider the translation of a poem or a fragment very sacred because, in my opinion, the field of translation is not simply the reflection of an entire creative world of an author, but also an attempt to unify the cultural diversity that it represents.
Edward Fitzgerald spoke of translating the essence of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat and not the literal text. Does that hold true for translations you use?
Omar Khayyam has been translated into Albanian language by the master of translation of many works of Shakespeare, Theofan Stilian Noli, and what I would describe is that his literary, Rubaiyat, not only stands as a pearl in World Literature, but continues to influence today’s poets in their lyrical spirit. When you read Rubaiyat, it is like traveling to another world, which grabs you and transports you to another poetic galaxy. Khayyam is always inspiring and quite influential even today. Unrepeatable with his lyrics, this Persian uses this phrase as his motivational quote: “it is not known whether Persian created poetry or poetry created Persian”.
What future do you see for Atunis and yourself?
The Atunis Literary League is already home to many authors who, thanks to their cooperation, have enabled the exchange of ideas and unified elite literary thought through mutual translations, and as such, thanks to creative alternatives, they have become missionaries for more peace, divine justice, and civilization of human society.
Any advice for upcoming writers?
I would recommend that young authors and poets read as many selected works as possible. This would help them build their foundation and develop their talent and generate new ideas that would lead to beautiful works of literary art.
This was an online interview conducted by Mitali Chakravarty
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