PA Center for the Book announces 'Route 1 Reads' poetry title for 2021

June 10, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the seventh consecutive year, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book will participate in “Route 1 Reads,” a road trip-inspired reading list that explores various genres through the network of state Center for the Book affiliates located along Route 1. In 2021, the theme of the reading list is poetry.

The selected book to represent Pennsylvania is “Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields” by poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and photographer Steven Rubin, published by Penn State University Press. This multidisciplinary work is a lush, sweeping tale of the communities who experience fracking. From multiple points-of-view, “Shale Play” delivers the unflinching realities of this growing industry in the form of documentary poems in dialogue with multidimensional, investigatory photographs. The cumulative, poetic-visual narrative humanizes this contentious issue and deepens understanding via powerful aesthetics and well-researched facts.

cover of poetry collection titled Shale Play

The selected book to represent Pennsylvania in the 2021 edition of “Route 1 Reads,” a road trip-inspired reading list, is “Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields” by poet Julia Spicher Kasdorf and photographer Steven Rubin, published by Penn State University Press. This multidisciplinary work by two Penn State faculty members is a lush, sweeping tale of the communities who experience fracking.

IMAGE: Steven Rubin/Penn State University Press

Both at Penn State, Kasdorf is professor of English and women’s, gender and sexuality studies, and Rubin is professor of art specializing in documentary photography and assistant director of the School of Visual Arts.

The diverse reading list created by Route 1 Reads highlights each State Center for the Book affiliate, while celebrating the East Coast as a whole.

The full list of featured poetry books for the 2021 Route 1 Reads initiative is available along with a map of participating states at Route1Reads.org.

Route 1 Reads is a partnership between the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, and its affiliates in: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C. The initiative was launched at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit the Route 1 Reads website  or follow #Route1Reads on Twitter.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through its Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book is an affiliate of the Center for the Book established in 1977 at the Library of Congress. It encourages Pennsylvania’s citizens and residents to study, honor, celebrate and promote books, reading, libraries and literacy.

In addition to Route 1 Reads, it also administers the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize; Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award; Public Poetry Project; A Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy; Wordstruck: Micro Essays on Literature that Redefined You; Poems from Life; Words of Art; and the interactive Literary & Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania. For more information about Route 1 Reads in Pennsylvania, contact Nicole Miyashiro, writer-in-residence, at nmm16@psu.edu.

Last Updated June 25, 2021