MECHANICSBURG: Fracking poetry and photos

Ongoing exhibition Feb. 6–March 15 at Messiah College — Shale Play: Documentary Art by Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin, an exhibition in collaboration with the Department of English Climenhaga Building, Climenhaga Galleries (upper)

Artist’s Talk/Poetry Reading and Reception: High Center, High Foundation Recital Hall, Feb. 7, 4:15 p.m.

Shale Play, a singular work from an award-winning poet and a veteran documentary photographer, tracks the natural gas boom in the small towns, fields and forests of Appalachian Pennsylvania. In the era of the visual and verbal meme, Rubin and Kasdorf pair documentary poems with photographs in a volume that can be held in the human hand and shared, even in communities that lack high speed internet access.

Learn more about the artists:
juliakasdorf.com                     stevenrubin.com

Interviews with the artists about the book, and the work that led to the book:

image source

You may remember Julia Spicher Kasdorf’s work from the close of our April 2018 newsletter, copied here:

In honor of [the April 13, 2018 A Better Path Coalition] event, we will end with a powerful poem by Pennsylvania docupoet Julia Spicher Kasdorf.  For more from her, including explorations of faith, bookmark this written interview to read with time to reflect.

But first, the poem:

“A Mother on the West Virginia Line Considers the Public Health”
The industry thinks I’m too dumb to back down; they don’t know
I do this for my Mom and Dad. They were 69 and 71.
He had pulmonary fibrosis, worked with asbestos all his life. She grew up
near the coke ovens back when kids were sent into the mines to pick coal.
So they both had lung problems, but their home, the next hollow over,
sits 350 feet from a compressor station. We sealed the house,
set up an air scrubber, but—four of their neighbors passed last year, too.
*
We bought the coal rights to our 115 acres because we know
the company will come up to your front door, but we let the gas go,
just didn’t see this coming. A gentleman from New Jersey leased our land.
One day we come home to find pink ribbons tied in the field. Then bulldozers.
They put in four shallow wells and a Marcellus well on a 5-acre pad

Continue reading where the poem is printed in full with permission

date changes STATE COLLEGE: poetry and photos, fracking and faith

image source

Program begins at 9:00AM, and finishes a bit before 10:00 (in time for 10:00 church)
People of any faith or none are welcome. RSVPs appreciated so they can set up extra chairs.

Join member congregation St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church’s Adult Forum to hear from Poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf  will talk about Shale Play, her newly published collaboration with photographer Steven Rubin.  She will show some images, read some poems

DATE CHANGES (changed due to weather) :
Sunday, FEBRUARY 3rd at 9:00AM at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church

Julia Kasdorf and Steven Rubin have an  exhibit linked to the book at the Bellefonte Art Museum, January 4-27.  They will present together in secular settings:

Jan. 11th at 7:30pm at the  Bellefonte Art Museum
Jan. 24th at 7:30pm

Thursday, January 31 at 7:30pm in the Foster Auditorium in the Pattee and Paterno Library on the Penn State University Park campus.

 

 

Learn more about the artists:
juliakasdorf.com                                    stevenrubin.com

You may remember Julia Spicher Kasdorf’s work from the close of our April 2018 newsletter, copied here:

In honor of [the April 13, 2018 A Better Path Coalition] event, we will end with a powerful poem by Pennsylvania docupoet Julia Spicher Kasdorf.  For more from her, including explorations of faith, bookmark this written interview to read with time to reflect.

But first, the poem:

“A Mother on the West Virginia Line Considers the Public Health”
The industry thinks I’m too dumb to back down; they don’t know
I do this for my Mom and Dad. They were 69 and 71.
He had pulmonary fibrosis, worked with asbestos all his life. She grew up
near the coke ovens back when kids were sent into the mines to pick coal.
So they both had lung problems, but their home, the next hollow over,
sits 350 feet from a compressor station. We sealed the house,
set up an air scrubber, but—four of their neighbors passed last year, too.
*
We bought the coal rights to our 115 acres because we know
the company will come up to your front door, but we let the gas go,
just didn’t see this coming. A gentleman from New Jersey leased our land.
One day we come home to find pink ribbons tied in the field. Then bulldozers.
They put in four shallow wells and a Marcellus well on a 5-acre pad

Continue reading where the poem is printed in full with permission

Climate Change Poetry

The poem below was first published in Drunken Boat.  We are pleased to print it here in advance of a poetry reading that members of Philadelphia PA IPL plan to attend February 1.

hila-Ratzabi-Small

Poet Hila Ratzabi writes:
I am a member of Kol Tzedek synagogue, a progressive Jewish congregation in West Philly. I identify with my Jewish faith tradition, and my Jewish identity informs my relationship to social and environmental justice. For me, religion must stand for justice. All faith traditions have some component of justice in their teachings, and I believe that if representatives of a faith betray that commitment by engaging in any form of oppression then they have marred their faith. Sadly that is too often the case in this country. But as people of faith we must have an awareness of the danger of unchecked power — this relates to how we treat the earth and how we treat other people.

This poem was written a few months after Hurricane Sandy, which was a transformative event for me; it shook me out of a state of complicity and made me realize how immediate and dire the climate crisis is. After years of kind of knowing and accepting the reality of climate change in the abstract, I suddenly felt that sense of terror when seeing the effects of climate change pounding at my very door. I’m currently working on a book of poems that engages more deeply with the psychological and emotional effects of our awareness of climate change, and this poem is part of that project.

Crossing the Tappan Zee Bridge the Day Before the End of the World
Before the waters fill the bridge’s mouth
Before the metal cathedral liquefies
Before the bolts explode like broken elbows Continue reading Climate Change Poetry