“I write because I have a mad crush on words, on the mechanism of language. When they told me the alphabet has only twenty-six letters, I became suspicious because my mother read me all the books of Roald Dahl every night and the sentences kept coming and always so differently, so only twenty-six letters, that had to be one of the many things that they are trying to delude children into believing, I thought. The alphabet, that almost ridiculously meagre tool that offers incredible combinations. That challenges me every day. I’m head over heels for it.”

Ruth Lasters

Ruth Lasters (1979) was born in Antwerp, studied Romance philology in Brussels. She published poems and columns in, inter alia Lava, Deus ex Machina, Revolver, Poëziekrant, Krakatau, the NRC Handelsblad, Het Liegend Konijn and in the anthology 21 dichters voor de 21ste eeuw (21 poets for the 21st century).

She made her debut with the novel Poolijs (Polar Ice) (2006), for which she was immediately awarded the Flemish Debut Prize. In 2010, her second novel Feestelijk Zweet (Festive Perspiration) followed and in 2014, Vlaggenbrief (A certificate of registration for a seagoing vessel).

In 2007, her first poetry volume, Vouwplannen (Folding plans), was published. The Flemish and Dutch press was unanimous in its praise. Erik Lindner in De Groene Amsterdammer: ‘Ruth Lasters is unique in the apparent ingenuousness with which she dishes up words and their gaps.’ In 2009, she won the Debut prize of Het Liegend Konijn for this collection. According to the jury, Vouwplannen is ‘a wholly original debut, in which humour and seriousness are brewed into a mix that bubbles with enthusiasm for reality. Not just the one reality that simply presents itself, but indeed also the many other possible realities.’

In 2015, with her poem ‘Witlof’ (Chicory), she won the Turing Poetry Contest, the largest poetry competition in Flanders and the Netherlands. In the same year, her second collection, Lichtmeters (Light Meters) was published, for which she won the Herman de Coninck Prize for best volume of poetry in 2016.

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