Ndrek Gjini was born in Albania. After his graduation from the University of Shkoder in Albania, with a BA (Honours) in Language and Literature he worked first as a teacher and then as a journalist. During these years he published four books in the Albanian language, and many poems, reviews, essays and articles in Albanian newspapers and magazines.
In 2002, he moved to the West of Ireland. In 2004, he undertook a course at Castlebar College of Further Education that led to a National Certificate in Print Journalism. At Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology he earned a BA (Honours) in Heritage Studies, (2010).
In 2011 he received an MA in Writing at National University of Ireland, Galway. His research and teaching interests are in digital humanities, book history, textual studies and bibliography, scholarly editing, and 20th-century literature.
Since 2014 he guest lectures regularly at the (Writers’ Seminar) in the MA in Writing course at the National University of Ireland, Galway. His poems, short stories and reviews have been published in Journals and Magazines in many countries.
Ndrek’s first collection of poems in the English language, The Death of Night, was published in 2011 by EMAL, and his second book The Invention of Shoes was published in 2019 by Galway Academic Press. He was selected to read at the Curit International Festival of Literature in 2019, the Strokestown International Poetry Festival in 2011, and was a featured poet in the ‘Cyphers’ Magazine, Issue 71. and 85 . His work has also been published in The Mayo Anthology (Present Tense), in 2006, and in theWriting4all Anthology, “The best of 2011”, MUSE INDIA, Issue 76, 2017, ‘The Connaught Telegraph’, ‘Galway Advertiser’, ‘Galway City Tribune’,and ‘Sin’ are among other newspapers and magazines where his work has been featured. He has been invited to read at the Galway- Mayo Institute of Technology on both Galway and Castlebar campuses and at the Culture Night events.
He was selected among the 50 personalities included in the book published by Albanian Excellence 50×50 Symbol of a Generation.
During 2012-2013, he worked, as the Arts Office Assistant, in the Community and Culture Department of the Galway City Council. From 2013 until July 2015, he worked for the Galway Education Centre. Currently he works as the IT Manager for Footfall and is Managing Editor of The Galway Review .
My grandmother had a true calendar,
a meaningful, eventful one.
“You were born four moons
after the heavy flooding
which killed half of the town,
twelve moons before
the communists dynamited the church.
It was just two moons after
the grapes were ripened,”
she used to say to me.
As a child, until I began school,
I knew nothing of the fact
that I was born on 1st October, 1963.
If I tell you my birthday
with the current calendar,
I tell you nothing about myself.
But, what if I use
my grandmother’s calendar?
There is a forest with lots of birds.
down at the foot of this forest,
is my home.
In the distance lies a railroad, not far,
and then the sea.
Some birds migrate from the forest each
and come back in the spring.
I leave my house every morning
and return in the evening.
A train passes by at the break of day,
returns at noon,
only to leave again just before midnight.
The sea recedes from the shore
whenever the moon is full
and comes back with wild waves
once the new moon begins.
In this come-and-go game,
life revolves around itself perpetually.
The first to tire out
is going to be me,
and one day
I am going to take
an endless break.
I was looking through a recipe book
trying to find out how to cook a fish.
I started to wonder…
what if a fish was looking up
a good recipe
on how to cook a man.
I left the kitchen
and my feet brought me to the sea.
I splashed into the world of fishes
and forgot to eat; I felt no hunger at all.