In 2003, while in Poland promoting the Polish translation of her book Unquiet World: The Life of Geoffrey Count Potocki de Montalk, Stephanie de Montalk slipped in a hotel bathroom and injured her pelvis. This event goes unmentioned in the poem Warsaw, but the story of a later trip to France for surgery on the injury is told in the poems in part II of this book. Many of the other poems are concerned with the kinds of journey we make in imagination or memory:
She waits to be taken
to the foot of the Pyrenées
to the bank of the stream
where the fortress and medieval
spires of the basilica
pierce the blue morning . . .
Praise for Cover Stories
NAMED ONE OF THE NZ HERALD'S "BOOKS OF THE YEAR"
[de Montalk] has a voice that is distinct, but also adaptable. Her poems combine a controlled energy with curiosity and wit. These thoughtful poems are well worth reading and reading again.Rachel Bush NZ POETRY SOCIETY
Cover Stories is full of genuinely beautiful poems. Hamesh Wyatt OTAGO DAILY TIMES
Journeys to places both real and imaginary: an inspired and inspiring new collection of poems by the 2005 VUW Writer in Residence.LEAFSALON
...a strong unique voice.Amy Brown SALIENT
Many of these poems play over the beautiful surrounds of foreign cities and the trappings of upper-middle class privilege; they imagine grace, peacefulness, contentment. Yet the works that really delve under this prettiness (Working Days, Mantelpiece Canvas, Waxing and Salting) tell us that poetry can be the art of both deflection and reflection: the subtext is where at least half the sense lies. Waxing and Salting is a stand-out poem: it celebrates how the human mind both documents and transforms - rescuing even lost opportunities, and building new visions in the gap.
Emma Neale DOMINION POST
Praise for Stephanie de Montalk's earlier work
Every once in a rare while, a subject and an author admirably suited to each other connect and the result is a book of outstanding interest and merit. Unquiet World is one such volume.Michael King
De Montalk has produced a book full of candour and feeling. [The Scientific Evidence of Dr Wang] has a real depth to it.Hamesh Wyatt
Stephanie de Montalk has worked as a nurse and documentary film maker, and was for some years a member of the New Zealand Film and Literature Board of Review. She is the author of two previous collections of poems, Animals Indoors (Best First Book of Poetry, 2001 Montana NZ Book Awards) and The Scientific Evidence of Dr Wang, and Unquiet World: The Life of Geoffrey Count Potocki de Montalk. She lives in Wellington and is the 2005 Victoria University Writer in Residence.