Maurice Carême was born in Wavre. His father was a painter & decorator and his mother worked in a grocer’s shop. After leaving school, he trained to be a primary school teacher and was appointed to his first post in Wavre in 1917. The following year, he was elected mayor of Wavre. He had started writing poetry aged 13, and he continued to write in his spare time. After a brief flirtation with Futurism (1928-32) he returned to his previous simple style, that was particularly appreciated by younger readers. In 1937, he moved to the “White House” in the Avenue Nelly Melba in Anderlecht, where he was to live for the rest of his life. By 1943, he was earning enough from his poetry and his articles for literary magazines to be able to give up his teaching job. In his old age, he became something of a cult figure among French students, who elected him a “Prince of Poetry” in 1975. His poems have been translated into several languages and he received many literary awards. He also translated the poems of several Dutch-language poets into French. He set up a charitable foundation, which inherited his house, now the Carême Museum. His former secretary, Jeannine Burny, is now President of the foundation and her book “The days always pass too quickly: in the footsteps of Maurice Carême” (“Le jour s’en va toujours trop tôt: sur les pas de Maurice Carême”) was published by Editions Racine in 2007.