Born in 1974, Ioana Nicolaie is a poet, prose writer and a children’s books author. She studied at the Faculty of Arts in Bucharest and has worked as an editor and writer. She teaches literature, creative writing and organises creative workshops for children. She published her first book, the collection of love poems Poză retușată (Retouched Photograph), when she was twenty-six years old. She followed up on it with other poetry books: Nordul (The North), Cenotaf (Cenotaph), Autoimun, as well as three novels: Cerul din burtă (Belly Heaven), O pasăre pe sârmă (A Bird on a Wire) and the award-winning bestseller Pelinul negru (Black Wormood). The main character of the novel is a girl unable to learn to read and write, while the story takes place on the backdrop of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.