A brief biographical sketch compliments of:www.museum.antwerpen.be The Hugo Verriest legacy . Hugo Verriest was a strong advocate of the use of Dutch. He devoted himself to the revival of the Flemish cultural awareness, which brought him in conflict with the Francophile clergy. He also had an enormously stimulating influence on his environment. As a catholic priest / school teacher, initially in Bruges and later in Roeselare and Ieper, he instilled in his students (including the talented Albrecht Rodenbach) a love for literature and for their own language. He also encouraged them to become active in literature themselves. His creation of a favourable climate for the development of literature was a determining factor in the flourishing literary movement in West Flanders during the second half of the 19th century. Verriest's encouragement was not limited, however, to the budding talents of his students and other young people around him. Being himself a former student of Guido Gezelle (1830-1899), throughout his life he nourished great admiration for this unique poet. Verriest was one of those who encouraged Gezelle to start writing poems again after a long period of silence, which resulted in Gezelle attaining the pinnacle of his career after 1880. It is also thanks to Verriest that Gezelle became an important name in Holland. Stijn Streuvels (1871-1969), a nephew of Gezelle's, could also count on the supportive enthusiasm of Verriest.