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Ani Gjika — An Unruled Body, with Jung Hae Chae

January 3, 7:00 PM8:30 PM EST


Ani Gjika was born in Albania and came of age just after the fall of Communism, a time in which everyone had a secret to keep and young women were afraid to walk down the street alone. When her family immigrates to America, Gjika finds herself far from the grandmother who helped raise her, grappling with a new language, and isolated from aging parents who are trying in their own ways to survive. Then she meets a young man whose mind leans toward writing as hers does, and Ani falls in love–at least, she thinks it’s love.

Set across four countries—Albania, Thailand, India, and the U.S.— An Unruled Body tells the story of a young woman’s journey to selfhood through the lenses of language, sexuality, and identity, and how she learned to find freedom of expression on her own terms.

Albanian-born writer Ani Gjika is the author and literary translator of eight books and chapbooks of poetry, among them Bread on Running Waters (Fenway Press, 2013), a finalist for the 2011 Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize. Her translation from the Albanian of Luljeta Lleshanaku’s Negative Space (New Directions and Bloodaxe Books, 2018) won an English PEN Award and was shortlisted for the International Griffin Poetry Prize, PEN America Award, and Best Translated Book Award. She is a graduate of Boston University’s MFA program where she was a 2011 Robert Pinsky Global fellow, and GrubStreet’s Memoir Incubator program, where she was a 2019 Pauline Scheer Fellow. Having taught creative writing at various universities in the U.S. and Thailand, Gjika currently teaches social studies and literature to English language learners at Framingham High School in Massachusetts.

Gjika will be in conversation with Jung Hae Chae. Jung Hae Chae is the author of the forthcoming memoir-in-essays, Pojangmacha People (Graywolf Press, 2025), winner of the 2022 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. Her work has been distinguished with the 2021 Crazyhorse Prize in Nonfiction, the 2019 Emerging Writers Contest in Nonfiction from Ploughshares, and a 2019 Pushcart Prize in nonfiction. Her writing can be found in AGNI, Guernica, New England ReviewPloughsharesswamp pink (formerly Crazyhorse), and in the Best American Essays 2022, edited by Alexander Chee. Her work has been supported by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Bread Loaf Writers Conference, Sewanee Writers Conference, Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and others.

This event is free with first come, first served seating.


January 3
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EST
Event Category:


Politics & Prose Bookstore
5015 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, 20008 United States
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