Washington Signature
[ Search and Navigation ]   [ View Full Site ]

Center for

Environment & Society

Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields

Date: 5:30pm EST November 21, 2019

A collaborative event with the WC English Department and the Center for Environment & Society.

Join us for a reading and viewing of collaborative work by acclaimed poet Julia Kasdorf and award-winning documentary photographer Steven Rubin. Their book Shale Play witnesses the effects, complicated and often devastating, of shale gas development in Appalachia on the surrounding people and natural systems. 

Refreshments will be provided. 


Both Rubin and Kasdorf are currently Professors at Penn State University. 

Steve Rubin, an Associate Professor of Art, worked for more than twenty years as a freelance photojournalist and documentary photographer. His photographs have been published in The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and The Village Voice, and internationally in Stern, GEO, Focus, L’Express and The London Independent Magazine.

His work has, also, been exhibited across the world at the Refugee Studies Centre in Oxford and at the International Festival Visa pour L’Image, in Perpignan, France. A 2012-13 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar in northeast India, he is also the recipient of the Leica Medal of Excellence, a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Fellowship, a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard and an Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship. As a Community Fellow with the Open Society Institute (Baltimore), he co-directed the innovative program Healing Images, providing digital cameras, instruction and therapy to survivors of torture. He was also a Media Fellow with the Open Society Institute (New York), which supported his timely photographic investigation of the federal government’s detention and treatment of immigrants — work that has been widely circulated by Amnesty International, Human Rights First and The American Bar Association.

Julia Spicher Kasdorf, Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, 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. Her 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 has published a collection of 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. She is now working with Christopher Reed on the exhibition and catalogue Field Language: Paintings and Poetry by Warren and Jane Rohrer.