“Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields,” has been a five-year labor of love by Penn State University professors Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin.

Published by Penn State Press in 2018, the book gathers stories about working people and everyday life from Appalachian Pennsylvania and the Marcellus Shale Play, a region exploited for natural gas by means of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

Kasdorf, who grew up just outside the Westmoreland County area that’s highlighted in parts of the book, and Rubin catalogue and collage the natural beauty of rural life interrupted by fracking.

Rubin contributed the photography to the book and Kasdorf wrote the poetry for the book. She has published three books of poetry, “Sleeping Preacher,” “Eve’s Striptease,” and “Poetry in America.”

Her awards include the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and 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 a professor of English and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at Penn State University.

Rubin 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. Internationally he’s been published in Stern, GEO, Focus, L’Express and The London Independent Magazine.

He is an associate professor of art, specializing in photography, at Penn State University.

The book, published by Penn State University Press, can be purchased on their website at www.psupress.org. The cost is $24.95 for the hardcover publication.

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