Writer, poet and scientist Jan Lauwereyns was born in Antwerp in 1969. He studied psychology at Leuven University. He finished his doctorate at Michigan State University in the United States and then travelled to Japan for post-graduate work.
He currently teaches neuropsychology at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand and has published numerous articles in scientific journals such as Nature and Neuron.
Lauwereyns' critically acclaimed first collection of poetry ‘Nagelaten sonnetten' (Posthumous Sonnets) was published in 1999. It was nominated for the prestigious C. Buddingh' Prize and called ‘the most interesting poetry debut in recent years.' He followed it with Blanke verzen (Blank Verses) in 2001 and Buigzaamheden (Flexibilities) in 2002 for which he received the Hugues C. Pernath Award.
Traces of Lauwereyns' scientific work can be found in his poems. They can also be read as lyrical essays, as in a cycle of poems in which he tries to uncover the anatomy of the poetic soul. "I see myself as a doctor," explains Lauwereyns. "In my doctor's bag are two compartments for instruments and with them I examine my patients - the big questions of body and soul. In one compartment is neuroscience, in the other is poetry."
His debut novel ‘Monkey Business' was published in 2003. The story is set in a laboratory in Japan where a Western researcher is carrying out neurophysiological experiments on monkeys. Though based on his own experience, the story is told from the perspective of one of the monkeys.
'Poetry and science are two completely different worlds,' says Flemish author Jan Lauwereyns. 'Science is a search for truth and poetry is a quest for beauty.' His Radiobooks contribution is a long narrative poem inspired by the myth of Europa.Listen to this book