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Today in History: Death of Belgian poet and playwright Liliane Wouters

Today in History: Death of Belgian poet and playwright Liliane Wouters
The Minister of Secondary Education, Arts and Letters, Pierre Hazette, presents the Quinquennial Prize for Literature 2000, Prix Litttteraire de la communaute francaise, to the Belgian Liliane Wouters on the occasion of the book fair in the Palais des Congres in Brussels. Credit: Belga/Daniel Willam

On this day, 28 February 2016, the famous Belgian poet and playwright Liliane Wouters died at the age of 86 in the Brussels municipality of Ixelles, where she spent most of her life.

Wouters' famous play 'La salle des profs' ("The Teachers' Room") was inspired by her experience as a teacher, but it was through poetry that she began writing. In 1954, she published 'La marche forcée' – an immediate success that won several prizes, as did many of her other works.

The child of a Flemish mother, she regularly translated Flemish poetry into French. What was exceptional about her position was that she became a member not only of the 'Académie Royale de Langue et de Littérature française de Belgique', but also of the 'Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature' and well as the European Academy of Poetry. At the end of her career, she also regularly participated in the activities of the Brussels City Poetry Collective.

In 2007, she published another novel, 'Paysage flamand avec nonnes' which was inspired by Wouters' own experiences as a pupil at the Normaalschool in Gijzegem near Aalst and was translated three years later as 'Flemish Landscape with Nuns'.

Wouters died in 2016 in the Hainaut village of Gilly near Charleroi, following an illness.

"Today in History" is a new historical series brought to you by The Brussels Times, aiming to take you on a trip down memory lane for newcomers and Belgians alike, written and compiled by Ugo Realfonzo & Maïthé Chini. With thanks to the Belga News Agency.

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