Welcome!

Welcome to Pig Squash Press! You have arrived at the cyber-home, alter ego, publishing imprint and creative conduit connecting meKim Goldbergto the rest of the planet (and possibly beyond).

My forthcoming book is Devolution, coming from Caitlin Press in Spring 2020.

And my latest books are:

UndetectableUndetectable, a lyrical journey through illness, wellness, Hepatitis C and virus as metaphor. I lived with Hepatitis C for 45 years before being cured in 2015 with the breakthrough new drug Harvoni. I wrote Undetectable in the Japanese literary style of haibun – a travel diary paired with haiku – as I wandered the streets and forests of Nanaimo, BC, during my 84 days of treatment, meditating on all things undetectable.

RED ZONE, a graffiti-strewn poem diary of homelessness in Nanaimo, BC, where I live. More than 300 people live and sleep on the streets of Nanaimo. RED ZONE has been taught in university literature courses. Reviewers have compared it to the writings of Allen Ginsberg, Marge Piercy, and John Steinbeck.

Ride Backwards on Dragon: a poet’s journey through Liuhebafafinalist for Canada’s Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. A collection of 66 linked poems following the 66-move sequence of the ancient martial art of Liuhebafa on a mythic quest for internal alchemy and immortality. Visit my Liuhebafagirl blog for deets.

So make yourself comfy, have a boo at my blog postings about upcoming literary happenings and other current events, leave a comment, walk your dog, order a book or two, follow me on Twitter @KimPigSquash, like me on Facebook.

May the metaphors be with you!

Kim Goldberg
goldberg@ncf.ca

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Rave Review for Devolution in Vancouver Sun

I was thrilled to wake up Saturday morning to find Tom Sandborn’s rave review of my new book Devolution in the Vancouver Sun.

He bills it anelegant and ferocious collection of poems and fables. Like Magritte and other surrealist painters, Goldberg is fascinated by dream-like images dredged up from the muck at the bottom of the mind, and she deploys these images to reflect on our intertwined crises of environmental collapse and social injustice.”

Book review: Nanaimo poet deploys dreamlike surrealism in ferocious collection

From the review: “Goldberg creates a dream world in her writing, full of nightmarish loss, fragmentation and decay juxtaposed with shards of radiant, resonant beauty. Like Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, Goldberg shows us where to look amongst the garbage and the flowers.”

And: “She can write lines that literally take your breath away, and creates images that will remain with you long after you close the book.”

The pandemic has been hard on poets. Especially those of us with new books. No coffee shops or libraries or other cool haunts where we can perform our words and connect with a live audience.

I was scheduled to launch Devolution on March 21st, World Poetry Day, at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library. But by the time that date rolled around, lockdown had commenced and the library (like most other establishments) was closed so we could all shelter in place and head off a potential crisis that could flatten our health care resources.

Poets have had to carve out and invent new methods of sharing our work in the last three months. Online launches and readings with Zoom and other crowdcasting platforms, for example.

I held an online launch and reading for Devolution on June 5th with Planet Earth Poetry. You can view that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUAYxoRaS04

A video of my Devolution poem “A Tall Girl” was featured on Poet’s Corner here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZnrWk-OAac

You can watch and hear me read 3 of my Devolution poems here on rob mclennan’s periodicities virtual reading series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0gu2QNkah8&feature=emb_logo

And if you want a glimpse inside the poet’s mind (it’s scary in there!) to see what went into the creation of Devolution, you can read my essay here on the All Lit Up blog Under the Cover: https://alllitup.ca/Blog/2020/Under-the-Cover-Seizing-absurdity-in-Devolution

Devolution can be ordered directly from the publisher.

Caitlin Press: https://caitlin-press.com/our-books/devolution/

Or from any online bookseller (Amazon, Chapters, etc), or through your favorite indie bookstore.

And I am selling signed copies from my door or garden in Nanaimo for $18. Or I can ship you a signed copy for $23. (e-transfer to goldberg@ncf.ca)

 

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Devolution – Cover Reveal

Thrilled to unveil the cover for my latest book: Devolution – poems of the ecopocalypse.

The cover art is a 1934 painting, “The Collective Invention,” by legendary Belgian Surrealist artist René Magritte.

Devolution will be released by Caitlin Press in February 2020. I hope to bring it to an open mic or festival or reading series near you. One planet is all we’ve got!

From the catalogue:

Devolution is Kim Goldberg’s eighth book and her personal act of extinction rebellion. The poems and fables span the Anthropocene, speaking to ecological unraveling, social confusion, private pilgrimage, urbanization and wildness. Using absurdism, surrealism and satire, Goldberg offers up businessmen who loft away as crows, a town that reshapes itself each night, a journey through caves so narrow we must become centipedes to pass. Goldberg’s canvas holds both the personal and the political at once, offering rich layers of meaning, but with a playfulness reminiscent of Calvino or Borges. Each imaginative narrative will haunt the reader long after the book has been put down.

More info here: http://caitlin-press.com/our-books/devolution/

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Good Times with Old Friends

Had a wonderful time today visiting with three fellow author friends and TWUC members in downtown Nanaimo this sunny afternoon at a sidewalk table at Serious Coffee as the world passed by on Commercial Street. My compatriots were Della Burford, Sylvia Sikundar and Sandy Duncan.

The four of us have been friends for decades as a result of our membership in The Writers’ Union of Canada. I have known Sandy even longer, as she was the author friend who recruited me into TWUC back in 1990 after my first book was published.

TWUC has been an important organization to me professionally, which is why I initially joined all those years ago. Great help from staff on contract negotiation! And authors everywhere in Canada, whether TWUC members or not, today enjoy annual income from Public Lending Right (for library use of out books) and from Access Copyright (for photocopying of our work), thanks to the work done by TWUC years ago and up to the present.

But for me, the greatest benefit of my TWUC membership has been the many wonderful friendships I have made with authors elsewhere in BC and across Canada over the years through our TWUC annual national conferences and our more frequent regional meetings with potluck socials.

Authors Della Burford, Kim Goldberg, Sylvia Sikundar, Sandy Duncan

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You Are Here

“You are here” – My latest weathergram installation, now playing in Bowen Park (Nanaimo).

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Devolution – poems of the Ecopocalypse

I am honoured to announce that I have just signed a contract with Caitlin Press for my next poetry book, currently titled Devolution.

Devolution will be my 8th book and is my personal act of Extinction Rebellion. The poems and fables speak to ecological unraveling, social confusion, private pilgrimage, wildness, cities, The Anthropocene. Stylistically, one might use labels like absurdism, surrealism, fabulism, speculative, slipstream, satire.

For a sneak preview of Devolution, have a look at my poems on the Dark Mountain website, where I am currently the Featured Mountaineer. All of my writings published in Dark Mountain anthologies over the years will be included in Devolution.

I have been working on the poems in Devolution for about 12 years. And as some of you know, I have been engaged in the fight of my life against 2 different cancers for the last 4 of those years. (Both cancers are currently in remission, I am happy to report. And 2019 is looking like it will be a very auspicious year for me, entering it as I am with good health and a publishing contract for the new book!)

As my health spiralled ever lower in the last 4 years, my poems about planetary collapse and ecopocalypse began to resonate eerily inside my own collapsing body, as though macrocosm and microcosm were locked in some perverse pas de deux.

But my mind, being what it is, is only able to translate loss of this magnitude into absurdism and strangeness. So if you’re looking for gloom and doom and hand-wringing, Devolution will not be the book for you.

Devolution is scheduled to be released in Spring 2020.  I hope to be bringing it to a festival or open mic near you.

I leave you with this sample, “Atlantis,” originally published in OJAL.

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When Cancer Meets Poetry

I am honoured to be included in the recently launched book from Mansfield Press: Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, edited by Priscila Uppal (RIP) and Meaghan Strimas.

As many of you know, I have now survived (or am in a state of surviving) two cancers: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Anal Cancer. (The latter is caused by the HPV virus in  most cases, including my own.) So the mission of using poetry to excavate the complexities of cancer and its effects upon our bodies and psyches and relationships–that is a mission I wanted to be a part of. And luckily for me, I was chosen by these two editors.

The book is available directly from the publisher. Or you can find it in quality bookstores and on Amazon.

My contribution to the book is my poem ‘Transported,” which you can read here:

And here I am in my late-autumn garden showing off my two contributor copies of the anthology. I held the image of my garden in my mind and in my belly each day while undergoing radiation this past summer. My garden is the externalization of my life force energy.

 

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Undead Among Us!

They’re heeeere…. I was delighted to receive my contributor copy yesterday of UNDEAD: A Poetry Anthology of Ghosts, Ghouls, and More, from Apex Publications.

If you’re a fan of speculative literature, you’ll want this collection, featuring more than 70 poets, in your library of the spooky and strange.

My own poem “What Remains” was inspired by my frequent wanders through an abandoned industrial wasteland near the Nanaimo River Estuary by my home on Vancouver Island. It is a setting rich with mysterious objects, forgotten story, unnamed spirits.

Undead is available from Apex Publications as a trade paperback ($15) or an eBook ($4).

 

 

 

 

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DisconTent City Nanaimo (Photos)

I took a stroll through Nanaimo’s DisconTent City today. The first tents were set up here on May 17, 2018, to draw attention to the problem of homelessness and lack of affordable housing in Nanaimo.

The encampment is on city-owned industrial property at 1 Port Drive, across the street from Port Place Mall in the downtown core.

Estimates of the current population living in DisconTent City range from 200 to 450 people.

~Kim Goldberg

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Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology

I just received my contributor copy of the Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology. WOWZERS! What a collection! I am so honoured to be included with my poem “Spawn” in this 460-page anthology edited by Melissa Tuckey, co-founder of Split This Rock.

Contributors are from around the world, as shown on contributor map below, and include Naomi Shihab Nye, Yusef Komunyakaa, Martín Espada, Simon J Ortiz, Sam Hamill, Dorianne Laux, Joy Harjo, Wang Ping, and many more.

Ghost Fishing is available from University of Georgia Press. Or from Amazon.

From the Introduction by Melissa Tuckey:

Eco-justice poetry is poetry born of deep cultural attachment to the land and poetry born of crisis. Aligned with environmental justice activism and thought, eco-justice poetry defines environment as “the place we work, live, play, and worship.” This is a shift from romantic notions of nature as a pristine wilderness outside of ourselves, toward recognizing the environment as home: a source of life, health, and livelihood. It is poetry at the intersection of  culture, social justice, and the environment.

CONTRIBUTOR MAP:

 

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Nanaimo Tent City – Day 1

A tent city of homeless individuals sprung up on the lawn of Nanaimo City Hall this morning. The action is in response to the city’s lack of progress on homelessness and the opioid crises locally. Six tents were standing in front of City Hall this afternoon.

Last month, City Council voted to reject $7 million from the province for supportive housing at a Chase River location. This decision fueled the launch of today’s Tent City.

And recently, central Vancouver Island medical health officer Dr. Paul Hasselback blasted Nanaimo City Council for creating “an obstacle to substance use treatment” in a city with an overdose death rate that is 50 per cent higher than the rest of the province.

For many months, Nanaimo City Council and city administration have been seen to be in a state of disarray, unable to move forward on urgent needs of the community because of infighting among council members and poor personnel decisions.
~Kim Goldberg

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