Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields
Julia Spicher Kasdorf, and Steven Rubin
In Shale Play, acclaimed poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and award-winning documentary photographer Steven Rubin explore the small towns, farms, and forests of Appalachian Pennsylvania to gather the stories of these places and the working people who inhabit them.
In the parlance of the oil and gas industry, “shale play” refers to a region exploited for its natural gas by means of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—transient industrial processes that often occur far from the populations that benefit from them. Amid polarized claims about fracking and pressure to develop these areas around the world, this project gathers evidence from everyday life in the Marcellus Shale Play. Kasdorf and Rubin follow in the footsteps of the documentarians of the 1930s, such as the artists and writers of the Works Progress Administration, taking a deliberate and thoughtful approach to gather the stories of workers on pipelines and well pads, landowners and leaseholders, waitresses, ministers, farmers, retired miners, teachers, and neighbors. The resulting collage of vivid oral and pictorial testimony reveals the natural beauty of rural places as well as the disturbance and spectacle fracking creates.
A passionate work of witness, Shale Play invites the reader to look beyond the easy caricatures of the white working class to create an urgent, authentic representation of a sacrifice zone that fuels America.
“The long sleep of the Appalachians has been dramatically interrupted by the sudden discovery of the Marcellus Shale. This book helps us see and understand what that has meant for the region. It's a classic tale, with echoes of the region's past—and deep implications for the planet's future.”—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature
An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology
Edited by Melissa Tuckey
Foreword by Camille T. Dungy
A gathering of poetry at the intersection of culture, social justice, and the environment
Ghost Fishing is the first anthology to focus solely on poetry with an eco-justice bent. A culturally diverse collection entering a field where nature poetry anthologies have historically lacked diversity, this book presents a rich terrain of contemporary environmental poetry with roots in many cultural traditions.
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 ourselves toward recognition of the environment as home: a source of life, health, and livelihood.
Ghost Fishing is arranged by topic at key intersections between social justice and the environment such as exile, migration, and dispossession; war; food production; human relations to the animal world; natural resources and extraction; environmental disaster; and cultural resilience and resistance. This anthology seeks to expand our consciousness about the interrelated nature of our experiences and act as a starting point for conversation about the current state of our environment.
Contributors include Homero Aridjis, Brenda Cárdenas, Natalie Diaz, Camille T. Dungy, Martín Espada, Ross Gay, Joy Harjo, Brenda Hillman, Linda Hogan, Philip Metres, Naomi Shihab Nye, Tolu Ogunlesi, Wang Ping, Patrick Rosal, Tim Seibles, Danez Smith, Arthur Sze, Eleanor Wilner, and Javier Zamora.