Stephanie de Montalk

ANZL Member

Photo credit: Sabrina Hyde

Stephanie de Montalk is the author of a biography, a novel, a memoir and four books of poetry. She has an MA (Dist.) and a PhD in Creative Writing from Victoria University of Wellington. A former nurse, documentary filmmaker and member of the NZ Film and Literature Board of Review, she came to writing late, in her fifties, as family and work commitments lessened. Since that time she has been the recipient of multiple awards. Guy Allan observed: ‘Stephanie de Montalk writes with unusual grace,’ and Gerry Webb wrote that her work is ‘relaxed, articulate, knowledgeable,’ and ‘meticulously observant’. In 2003, Stephanie suffered an accident resulting in permanent nerve damage and intractable pain. From this point on, her writing has explored exile, isolation and constraint. Reviewing her treatment of these themes in Vivid Familiar (poetry, VUP, 2009) Hugh Roberts wrote: ‘de Montalk continues to grip us … with the probing intelligence and nervous energy of her language’.

Stephanie has been published in literary journals in New Zealand and abroad. Her accolades include joint winner of both the VUW Prize for Original Composition and the Novice Writers’ Award in the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Awards (1997), the Jessie Mackay Award for the Best First Book of Poetry at the Montana NZ Book Awards (2001), a Top Ten and a Top Four NZ Book (2001), a Favourite NZ Book (2002), a Best NZ Book (2009), a Best Book (2014) and a Nigel Cox/Unity Books Award (2015). In 2005, Stephanie was the Victoria University Writer-in-Residence.



Read NZ Te Pou Muramura writer page

New Zealand Society of Authors writer page

Victoria University Press author page

‘Life on the Opium Couch’: an interview for Folks Magazine (2016)

Interview with Stephanie on National Radio (2014)

For publications, further reviews and excerpts visit Stephanie de Montalk’s website

Bibliography: Stephanie de Montalk



Vivid Familiar  (Victoria UP, 2009)

Cover Stories  (Victoria UP, 2005)

The Scientific Evidence of Dr Wang  (Victoria UP, 2002)

Animals Indoors (Victoria UP, 2000)

Five Poems  (Chapbook, designed and handprinted at the Rita Angus Cottage, Wellington, by Brendan O’Brien: 1999)



The Fountain of Tears  (Victoria UP, 2006)


Creative Nonfiction

Communicating Pain: Exploring Suffering Through Language, Literature and Creative Writing (Routledge, Oxon, 2019, and Routledge,  New York, 2019)

How Does It Hurt? (Victoria UP, 2014)

Unquiet World: The Life of Count Geoffrey Potocki de Montalk  (Victoria UP, 2001; Polish translation as Niespokojny swiat, Jagiellonian UP, Krakow, 2003)


'Does historical fiction allow an escape from reality or promote a confrontation with it?' - Thom Conroy

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