“Fiona Zerbst is one of the finest poets writing in South Africa today. In this, her fifth collection, she reflects on the notion of habitation – of human life as a series of sojourning moments. Her delicate evocations of complex relationships, landscapes and the lives of animals reveal a sensibility living in and through language. Crafted with precision and ingenuity, these poems never strain for effect. In Praise of Hotel Rooms shows Zerbst at the height of her poetic prowess.”
– David Medalie
“Despite having a calm level-headedness about them, Fiona Zerbst’s poems carry seams of rich emotional resonance below the surface. Her clear regard for the tradition and the importance of shape and music – using cadence-generating tensions between freedom and form – results in a subtle layering of meanings and insights. In Praise of Hotel Rooms confirms Zerbst as one of the most important voices of her generation.”
– Douglas Reid Skinner
Fiona Zerbst is the author of four poetry collections: Oleander (Modjaji Books, 2009); Time and Again (UCT Younger Poets Series No 1, Snailpress, 2002); the small zone (Snailpress, 1995); and Parting Shots (Carrefour Press, 1991). She received an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Cape Town, studying under the late Stephen Watson, and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Pretoria. Her poems have been published in various journals, both locally and abroad, as well as in several anthologies – most recently The New Century of South African Poetry (Jonathan Ball Publishers, 2019). She has run her own writing and editing business for a decade, and lives and works in Cape Town.