Luuk Gruwez was born in Courtrai (Belgium). His early poetry, in particular, attempted to compensate for permanent absence and loss by creating a cult of beauty. Linguistic subtlety and stylistic refinement were meant to offer an alternative to an inhospitable, unbearable world. Later, from Dikke mensen (Fat People) (1990) on, he evolved towards a more conciliatory attitude towards reality, drawing compelling portraits of individuals, who had in some way or another been neglected or forgotten. In pursuing these themes, he continued to be an interpreter of existential failure. This was also the case in Vuile manieren (Dirty Manners)(1994), a book of poetry that contained among others a cycle of poems on cancer. Gruwez has also been publishing more or less autobiographic prose. The most important titles are Het land van de wangen (The Land of the Cheeks) and Het land van de handen (The Land of the Hands). November Luuk Gruwez is a Fellow in partnership with Passa Porta International Literature House.