Leaving the Red Zone

Poems from the Canterbury earthquakes

More than 400,000 people
More than 14,000 earthquakes
5 years

People talked about quake brain, but the Canterbury earthquakes, despite or because of this, generated amazing bursts of creativity: music, dance, astonishing street art; and poetry.

Leaving the Red Zone is a rich and wide-ranging collection showcasing much of the best poetry:

148 poems
from 87 poets.

Here are sorrow, resignation, defiance, stoicism, humour black and wry, and everything in between.

Other books will tell of the earthquakes from the point of view of the geologist, the seismologist, the historian, or photographer; Leaving the Red Zone tells of the Canterbury earthquakes from the point of view of the human heart.



Edited by James Norcliffe and Joanna Preston


180 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9922517-5-8


$39.95 (free postage within New Zealand)

Available from Clerestory Press and all good bookstores

What People Have Said

The first draft of history

"It is often said that journalism is the first draft of history. After looking through Leaving the Red Zone, you could say the same thing about poetry. These are accessible, short dispatches written in the heat of the moment or soon after, describing individual experiences or observations."

— Philip Matthews
The Press

The words touched a nerve

"It is very much part of my personal journey and the words touched a nerve, as they will for the thousands who have shared that journey and those who learn of our journey through the poetry in this book. The dedication reads "To the Christchurch we have lost and to those who have lost Christchurch"."

Mayor Lianne Dalziel
The Christchurch Star