These poems feel like a response to the reader’s needs. Marinaj reflects the daily fear and suffering of people he witnessed. The poet focuses on each word. This is the masterful language of a man who has crossed geographical, political, and cultural borders. He deciphers the mysterious images of life — lonely and sad, but courageous and hopeful. This is the language of contemporary and accessible love.

Dr. Tung Duc Nguyen, Tuổi Trẻ
Gjekë Marinaj wrote: “Your small, pale face opened up / with the blossoming of peach trees” (from “A Mother Speaks to Her Poet Son”). These two lines may be the best example of the overall spirit of his collection Translucent Hopes. Marinaj has seen all the darkness of pain, fear, and death in our lives. From that darkness he silently but fiercely calls the light. And that light appears as gloriously as the everlasting flowers of the world. These two lines are the definition of poetry. And he is the definition of a poet.

Nguyen Quang Thieu, CỬA BIỂN
“If implemented to its full potential, Protonism theory would be helpful not only in the field of literature and philosophy but also in many other areas of art and science. It inspires and energizes us to participate in an open dialogue anchored in the seniority of the philosophic aspect of the global contemporary literary criticism.”

David W. Green, Transparent Eyeball
“… Protonism requires us to raise the spirit of artistic and literary criticism beyond Europe and America, to an all-embracing horizon. It is a healthy theory that can serve simultaneously as a prologue and epilogue to our needs to flourish the state of the arts and humanities.”

Ilir Paja, Nacional
“We need to take advantage of Protonism, as an enhancer of the world’s linguistics, by carefully implementing its theory into the current methods of improving the current historical and political aspect of our lives.”

Vjollca Tytyni,
” … The book Protonism: Theory Into Practice left me under the impression that he [Marinaj] would willingly read a work left on his desk, without knowing the name of the author or the name of the person who could have referred it. Protonism is a concrete literary theory that outlines a specific system of values that should be taught in Albanian universities.”

Rudina Çupi, Nacional
“It is an immense treasure that actors have the opportunity to interpret Marinaj’s work – such poetic art that comes from an incredible poet.”

Veli Rada, RTSH TV Show Host
“Gjekë Marinaj is an unparalleled poet. With the existence of his work, the Albanian poetry and literature is much more competitive with the literatures of the Balkans, Europe, and even outside of these borders. I hope that the level of fairness and professionalism of literary awards in Albania will continue to be as fair as this award, because we are so accustomed to seeing competitions where the first prize is awarded and yet the recipient of the second prize would, in reality, deserve the first prize. [A comment on the ceremony of Pjeter Arbrori Literary Award presented to Marinaj in 2008.]”

Çerçiz Loloçi, Writer
“I think the jurors who awarded the Pjeter Arbrori Literary Award to Gjekë Marinaj have made an excellent selection based on his quality of poetry, which has a universal value. They have made an exceptional selection because of his conceptual imagination of a great writer who incorporates his country into his poetry as a universe where planets do not collide with each other, but nourish each other with light and energy. [A comment on the ceremony of Pjeter Arbrori Literary Award presented to Marinaj in 2008.]”

Besnik Mustafaj, Writer, Former Foreign Minister of Albania (2005-2007)
“Translated into many languages, the twenty-one-line poem, Horses, is considered the most trustworthy poetic icon that reflects the Albanian reality during its dictatorship period.”

Cindy Hulbert, The Durango Herald
“His poems, full of feelings, are part of his overall formation or development. These and other qualities that fulfill the portrait of Gjekë Marinaj have earned him great respect of his colleagues.”

Ramadan Bigza, Albania Press
“Poems that must be read more than once; Marinaj’s verse is a mixture of intellectualism and esthetics that cannot be anything less than breathtaking.”

Anonymous, Z. Shqiptare
“The newness that we find in Gjekë Marinaj’s poetry is a civilized verse dressed in art. By a civilized verse, I mean refilling the old poetic vessel of poetry with a new brew. This ‘new wine’ is a production of ancient fruit grafted with his multileveled erudition. The poet dares to mix in his verse an antique culture – biblical and contemporary – with hidden knowns and unknowns of the genetics of humanity’s mysterious cosmos with that of concrete and abstract, freedom and nature.”

Vangjush Ziko, Z. Shqiptare
“Marinaj’s poems are valuable for the younger poets as textual reference of the best model of artistic poetry, especially for those who are just starting. Every poem puts one into meditation and leaves you with great impressions. The rich spiritual world of this poet is present in every word, in every line, in every stanza. The metrics and the rhythm of his line sounds are like the finest of musical chords. His work translates into an unparalleled esthetic pleasure to the reader.”

Tomë Mrijaj, Kuvendi
“From the creative pens like that of Gjekë Marinaj the art of poetry, itself, strengthens its reputation. Within his verse breezes an astonishing poetic beauty. When I read the poetry of Gjekë Marinaj, I see clearly that my self-importance increases. His work contributes so ily to the betterment of poetry as an art form.”

Ali R. Berisha, Writer
“The poetry of Gjekë Marinaj has forced me to delve deeper into poetry. I must say one will do that with such an important and unique poet of the Albanian culture. Enriched by his characteristically colorful metaphors his verse is notably his.”

Nexhat Rexha, Poet
“After reading his book [Prayer on the Eighth Day of the Week], I was pleasantly surprised that a distinguished writer like Marinaj is also a man of fierceful emotions. His are a mountaineer’s feelings that project the finest of cultural enlightenment. Through his affectionate lines, we feel his warmth, but we are not singed from his poetic flames and that is true poetry.”

Marjan Bunaj, Writer
“Gjekë Marinaj, who became a well-known name, is an inspiration and model for every successful Albanian emigrant. His difficult road to success is a road map for every Albanian writer who desires to create a name for him or herself in Albanian literature.”

Gjekë Gjonaj, Koha Javore
“Gjekë Marinaj is the pride of the Malësia e Madhe and Albania. Our country misses the presence of such a great intellectual but, on the other hand, he is honoring us wherever he goes.”

Edmond Ndoja, Comment
“Gjekë Marinaj has undertaken a difficult mission to bring Frederick Turner’s sonnets into Albanian. Utilizing precise words and meanings, Marinaj has given absolute priority to a faithful translation.”

Preç Zogaj, Mapo Review
“Marinaj erupts on the scene with all the brilliance of youth and the erotic energy of the mature adult. He shows us a way of seeing the world – beyond magical realism, beyond the metaphysical conceit, even beyond the colorful surrealism of Eastern Europe – that reveals how very much we are still in the first hopeful dawn of human civilization.”

Frederick Turner, Express
“Gjekë Marinaj has distinguished himself as a writer. Renowned authors have accorded him the highest praise for the excellence of his poetry. His writings are notable, among other things, for the originality of his thought, the vivid imagery, and the wide range of the subject matter. As an artist of the written word, he has a remarkable and enviable record of accomplishments.”

Peter R. Prifti, Translator
“Gjekë Marinaj is a most sincere lover of literature with a mind like a sponge. He’s a natural walking around poet.”

Ed Garcia, Brookhaven Courier
“Gjekë Marinaj is one of the most distinguished Albanian poets of our time. He belongs among Europe’s best poets. In his poetic universe, there transpires a superb harmony between the high spirit of the Balkans – the continent’s most storied region – and the Earth-bound reality of existence. … As often happens with true poets, the poetic spirit moves from his life to his verse and vice versa.”

Ismail Kadare, a candidate for Nobel Prize in Literature, TEMA
“Gjekë Marinaj has many hidden facets. An Albanian-American icon, he has proved to be a poetic genius who shyly reveals his complex past with each stanza. With a mere pen, this one person has done more for Albanian society than any politician has ever dreamed of doing. Watch him grow.”

Charlotte Karam, Translator
“Gjekë Marinaj has daringly created a new and sophisticated poetic code. His verse, an asset to contemporary poetry, places the bar high for other poets to meet.”

Mujë Buçpapaj, Nacional
“… ‘a first-rate poet’ … Gjekë Marinaj understands the illuminating power of the written word in a nation that wishes to be free. His commitment to writing was born out of a harrowing personal tale of dissent and retribution.”

Brent Flynn, The Dallas Morning News
“Gjekë Marinaj’s poems deal directly with life’s problems. They are instantaneously inspirational, at once lyrical and sensitive, clear and abstract. He reconciles these extremes by creating equilibrium between opposing ideas, contrasting imagery, and antithetical meanings. Above all, his poems are authentic, singular compositions, uniquely elegant in their motives, figurative style, poetic perception and vividness. His is a verse we must distinguish as first-rate poetry.”

Ramadan Musliu, Poeteka
“In the troubled and turbulent times we inhabit, it is rare to find a voice of stillness – an anchor to which we can attach our trust. With the world changing every day, and not always for better, we require the safe harbor of sanity and soundness. In the poignant poetry of Gjekë Marinaj, we do find such a sanctuary.”

Wm. L. Dubnov, Phoenix Review
“The mission of the artist, and therefore of the poet, is for Gjeke Marinaj the sum of that dream toward which humanity is moving. Ideally, if not practically, Marinaj attributes to the poet religious significance, seeing him as the highest theological consciousness on earth.”

Agron Tufa, Free Word
“The poet Gjekë Marinaj has achieved impressive versatility in his creative work. Effortlessly, he extends his reach from poetry to journalism and vice versa. Posing intelligent, insightful questions to the icons of Albanian and international art, literature, politics and sports, he offers his Albanian readers a book of interviews that is as interesting as it is meaningful.”

Arben Çokaj, Illyria
“[Marinaj’s] poem was a sensation. Papers flew off the stands; by mid-morning the entire country had sold out, but word of mouth continued to spread like wildfire. Those with a newspaper would scribble copies of the poem on scraps of paper to pass to strangers. Some recited the poem to passersby on the street. The entire country was abuzz with excitement over what the unknown young poet had written.”

Eric Nicholson, The UTD Mercury
“When I entered his studio, it was filled with an intellectual air, as if a pleasant Albanian breeze were blowing through. It was something that would inspire one to remember to fly with the dalenduchie to Shkodra, and, from there, all over Albania.”

Adnan Mehmeti, Pavarësia News
“In a way, it is a joy to see that a writer from the Balkans, one of the most outstanding poets of my country, still stands firm, even though he has lived two decades in the heavenly kingdom of the United States of America. Gjekë Marinaj is the name of this graceful poet who, just as a range of high mountains has enriched the soil of his country, he has fertilized the imagination of his generation with unmatched poetic skill. This is a challenge that inspires all of today’s Balkan poets to move inexorably forward toward the pinnacle of poetic achievement.”

Dashamir Cacáj, Atdheu
“Gjekë Marinaj attained sudden notoriety in Albania when he published an allegorical anti-communist poem titled Kuajt (Horses). To evade arrest, he fled his native country, eventually migrating to America, where he has since published a number of books, among them Infinit (Infinite), 2000; and Lutje në ditën e tetë të javës (Prayer on the Eighth Day of the Week).”

Peter R. Prifti, Translation Review
“My title of this review, “Gjekë Marinaj’s poems like Bible-pages,” is influenced by the multi-layers of meanings that are present in his verse and by the poli-spheres of his overall poetic act that leaves his readers with a sense of faith.”

Dhurata Hamzai, TemA
“Gjekë Marinaj symbolizes a new peak in Albanian poetry; his innovative and contemporary-specific poetic elements are truly distinctive within the body of Albanian literature of the last two decades.”

Ndue Ukaj, Drita
“Contemporary critics have placed the ideo-artistic values of Marinaj’s verse at the same rank with that of Camaj, Reshpja, Agolli and other distinguished names of the Albanian and world literature.”

Mikel Gojani, Shqip
“… Marinaj’s collection of poems Prayer on the Eighth Day of the Week, in my opinion, is an exception; the book is beautifully designed and artistically satisfying.”

Anton Gojçaj, Koha Javore