Jan Paul Hinrichs was born in The Hague (Netherlands) in 1956. He studied Slavic languages and Italian at Leiden University from 1975 until 1981. During the course 1979-1980 he studied nine months at Sofia University. Since 1982 he works at Leiden University as a Slavist. In 1985 he defended his doctoral dissertation in the field of Old Bulgarian linguistics. He wrote several monographs in the field of Slavic studies, including In Search of Another St Petersburg: Venice in Russian Poetry
(1997), and Nicolaas van Wijk (1880-1941): Slavist, Linguist, Philantropist
(2006), the biography of Holland's first and foremost Slavist. His scholarly work includes articles on the Bulgarian poets Pencho Slaveikov and Aleksandar Vutimski.
Apart from his scholarly work, Jan Paul Hinrichs is a translator of Russian and Bulgarian literature and a writer of literary essays. His translations in book form include poetry by Elisaveta Bagryana (1981), Nikolai Kanchev (1991) and Atanas Dalchev (2007). He published collections of essays on writers in Odessa, De mythe van Odessa (The Myth of Odessa
, 2011), and Riga, Trefpunt Riga
(Meeting Point Riga
, 2017), as well as a book of personal memoirs on Eastern Europe, Brief uit Vidin
(Letter from Vidin
, 2016). His books are translated in Italian, German, English, Russian and Ukrainian.
During his residency stay at Sofia Literature and Translation House, Jan Paul will be working on the compilation and translation of an anthology of contemporary Bulgarian poetry.