Albanian national poet honored with Italian prestigious Carlo Levi Award

82-year old Dritëro Agolli could not participate but his daughter Elona read his letter as she received the award on his behalf


82-year old Dritëro Agolli was honored in October 5th 2013 with the prestigious Italian national literary award, Carlo Levi.
The 16th edition of the award ceremony was held as usually in Aliano, a small town in Southern Italy, where Agolli and three Italian writers were honored.
The Mayor of Aliano, Luigi De Lorenzo and other local dignitaries took the stage to praise the honorees. Raffaele Nigro, distinguished Italian writer and scholar as well as a friend of Albania, interviewed the honorees.
agoll 1The elderly Albanian poet was unable to attend, but his daughter, Elona, received the award on his behalf and read the emotional letter.
Here’s what Agolli wrote:
“Dear friends, I should have been there with you today, but I am like that old horse who has traveled too many miles, whose ribs are showing, whose horseshoes have fallen, but whose mind keeps running.
I will not bore you like some parliament member. I thank the jury of the 16th edition of the national literary award Carlo Levi and in particular Rafaele Nigro, my good friend and distinguished writer, whose work is now known and received with love in Albania, from both readers and critics.
It is with great satisfaction that I receive the award, which bears the name of Carlo Levi, the distinguished painter, publicist and writer, the anti-fascist writer and dreamer of a new world without poverty, social injustice and wars. If only a miracle could happen and I could shake the hand of Carlo Levi himself. Now that would have been the greatest award of them all.
The Albanian literature, from its first steps has been nourished by the Italian literature, art and culture, because we are neighbors and as they say, there is only a wall of water that divides us. Seagulls are not the only ones who fly above this wall of water. Poetry, prose, music and all the arts make the same journey.
So does this small thank you note, brought to you by my daughter Elona, together with my best gratitude for the honor and the emotions that you gave me with the Carlo Levi Award.
No one enjoys prizes as much as old men and children do.” (Illyria)