RED ZONE – Where will YOU sleep tonight?



poems of homelessness & urban decay

by Kim Goldberg

September 2009

150 pages, 60+ photos



By official estimates, three hundred people live and sleep on the streets of Nanaimo, British Columbia. On any given day, a percentage of these people are barred from a 40-block area of the city core known as the “Red Zone.” Kim Goldberg has spent the last three years verse-mapping and photographing Nanaimo’s back alleys, graffiti galleries, underpasses and homeless encampments.

In this extraordinary book, Goldberg reconstructs a landscape of urban decline through a stunning combination of poem, image, artist projects and journal entries until the city itself becomes a persona speaking to us in the samizdat of cities everywhere—graffiti. Goldberg’s tumble down the rabbit hole of broken glass and shattered lives ultimately lands her in her own smouldering red zone of passion, obsession and shame.

“I can no longer discern where the political ends and the personal begins. The deeper I push into this swollen red midden of hidden box springs and open books, the more my own flesh burns…”

                                                                —from RED ZONE

Take the journey with her, if you dare.

Kim Goldberg is an award-winning poet, journalist and author of six books. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies around the world. She has lived in Nanaimo for more than thirty years.

ISBN 978-0-9783223-7-3

150 pages

$18.95 (Canadian or US)


Ordering information here.

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and the author of 8 books of poetry and nonfiction. Latest titles: DEVOLUTION (poems of ecopocalypse), UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact:
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17 Responses to RED ZONE – Where will YOU sleep tonight?

  1. hg says:

    The blog looks great, Kim — and I’m sure the book will be powerful. I feel lucky that I got to hear you read some of these earlier this summer. Best of luck with it.

  2. Deanna says:

    I find it inspiring that your poetry and photography are focused on social problems that many people do not want to look at. Thank you for fighting the good fight, and ensuring that all the people in Nanaimo are visible and have a voice.

  3. kat magendie says:

    i am visiting from sandra’s place….

    Congrats on your book’s publication! Please enjoy all these moments – all of them! If I had advice to give to any writer/poet with a book coming out, that is what I’d say — ENJOY all the moments! 🙂

  4. Theo Massop says:

    From the first that I got to know of you many years ago, you came across to me as a warrior for righteousness. You have never done anything to alter that view point. This is obviously a “turning over of the rocks” to reveal the reality that so many face each day. Both Buddhism and Christianity speak of taking things from the darkness to the light so we can see things as they really are. Not judgmental, but merely to see reality for what it is. This is the place where social healing, all healing can begin. Well done Kim. Interesting and intriguing, I will be their to purchase a copy at your launch party.

  5. James says:

    hmm interesting, I didnt know nanaimo had a red zone…they should make it bigger!

  6. daniela says:

    congrats, and happy new year, Kim.

  7. Genine Hanns says:

    I am so glad that you have written such a timely and beautifully creative and well-written book about the struggles of the poverty-stricken and unfortunate stem of humanity who live and struggle on the street; a matter of life and death to many and a great concern to all of us. Some might say that many indigent and homeless people have created this situation for themselves with bad choices, but we all know that it’s ill timing and ill luck a well that puts a lot of people on the street. If only our govermment cared about the homeless as much as you do.

  8. Toni Graeme says:

    A woman warrior in words! Thanks Kim for shining your light on those who have almost lost theirs. Blessings on you.

  9. Pingback: Dar Churcher – Colwood, BC | Refugium

  10. Sara B says:

    Are you still selling this book? It’s a must have for me lol

  11. It sounds like an important and original piece of art made of individual art works while inexorably pulling the reader/viewer so deep into the reality of the particular population that one could not fail to comprehend and empathize. I want this book and commend your work.

  12. Reblogged this on poetry from the frontera and commented:
    Something original and beautiful about a hard way to liveRED ZONE
    poems of homelessness & urban decay
    by Kim Goldberg
    September 2009
    150 pages, 60+ photos

  13. Pingback: Poetry: Kim Goldberg's "Atlantis" - O:JA&L

  14. Pingback: When a lesser god expires: Remembering Leonard Williams - VIMHS

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