Virtual program on YouTube live, 7 p.m.
Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields
Julia Spicher Kasdorf, poet
Steven Rubin, documentary photographer
Poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and award-winning documentary photographer Steven Rubin have explored the small towns, farms, and forests of Appalachian Pennsylvania to gather the stories of these places and the working people who inhabit them. They will present their work and describe the process of the project that has become Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields.
The program is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of English, art & art history, environmental studies and the film & media studies program.
Topic overview written by Scout Meredith Best ’21
Julia Spicher Kasdorf is the author of four books of poetry: Sleeping Preacher; Eve’s Striptease; Poetry in America; and Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields. She has also published a collection of her own essays, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, and the biographical study, Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American. With Joshua R. Brown she edited new editions of Yoder’s regional classic Rosanna of the Amish, and Fred Lewis Pattee’s local color romance The House of the Black Ring. With Michael Tyrell, she co-edited Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn. Her poetry awards include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, the Great Lakes College’s Association Award for New Writing, a Pushcart Prize, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. She is Liberal Arts Professor of English at Penn State, where she teaches creative writing, and she is currently is working with photographer Steven Rubin on Home Place, a documentary project about the resiliency of farmers who live within 30 miles of her house in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.
Steven Rubin is a documentary photographer and Professor of Art at Pennsylvania State
University. His work addresses critical contemporary issues including health disparities, rural poverty, refugee migration, immigrant detention, and the social and environmental impacts of energy development. He has photographed for national and international media publications, non-profits, and human rights organizations, and has been widely published and exhibited.