Belgian author, performer and researcher Carmien Michels viscerally sways between the pen and the stage. Studying at the Royal Conservatorium in Antwerp resulted in her debut novel We zijn water (We are water, 2013), followed by the release of her second novel Vraag het aan de bliksem (Lightning Never Lies) in 2015. Carmien’s storytelling is constellated by sumptuous descriptions and intimate glances that elicit a sense of vulnerability and strength. Through sharp observations of the world around her, she’s able to dissect human experiences and create characters so fully fleshed out they leap into life. In 2016, Carmien won both the Dutch and European Championship Poetry Slam and is one of the young authors selected for the European talent development project CELA: Connecting Emerging Literary Artists.