Books

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Shale Play

“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
“Rarely have I read a work that so strongly, profoundly, and empathically characterizes the history of a region through those who have labored hardest to make a decent life in a beautiful yet ravaged land. These polyvocal poems are rooted in a documentary sensibility but lift into higher registers of aesthetic experience, and along with the arresting photographs, they juxtapose the beautiful and the ugly, the natural and the industrial, the tracks of labor on the land and in the faces of the residents.”
—Alison Hawthorne Deming
“For nearly fifty years, my wife and I have lived in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania, a beautiful place but one with few well-paying jobs. Combine that scarcity of jobs with fracking and a gerrymandered state legislature in the pocket of extractive industries (Pennsylvania, for example, has been the only state without an extraction tax for gas). That’s the situation described by Kasdorf and Rubin in Shale Play, a powerful book about not just central Pennsylvania but much of Appalachia.”
—Ed Ochester, editor of the Pitt Poetry Series
 
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Poetry in America

“Sounds every note on the scale of tones, forms, and intensities. There are notes of toughness and tenderness, notes of witness and experience—all the notes, to my ear, in tune.”
PoemoftheWeek.org
 
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Eve’s Striptease

“...a significant work by a brilliant young poet…it is a book about coming to terms with one’s sexuality and how that affects one’s place in the world. As with Sleeping Preacher, Kasdorf’s new work moves through the dichotomous worlds of rural and urban, tradition and innovation, innocence and experience.”
The Pittsburgh Quarterly
 
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Sleeping Preacher

“Kasdorf chronicles her difficult journey from the Mennonite community into which she was born to a secular life in New York City. The material presents an interesting and unusually close portrait of the Amish people-for the most part without sentimentality…Paradoxically, the speaker justifies her new way of life by citing the lessons she learned as a child.”
Publishers Weekly
 
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The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life

“The practice of writing is at once spiritual and political for Kasdorf. It is a way of drawing close to the truth of her life without allowing that truth to destroy her, a way of bearing witness to the pain and truth of others, and a way of both transgressing and honoring her community, of transcending and remaining rooted in her body.”
—Religious Studies Review
 
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Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American

“Kasdorf...has provided a fascinating analysis of Yoder’s life and work. Her book makes use of material acquired through many personal interviews with those who remember Yoder as well as his own extensive correspondence. Her analysis of his various books in light of this new research is penetrating and thought-provoking and will be of interest both as a window into the Amish community and as an insight into one man’s struggle to balance tradition with the right to intellectual liberty.”
—Library Journal
 

Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn

edited with Michael Tyrell

 

The House of the Black Ring

by Fred Lewis Pattee

 

Rosanna of the Amish

by Joseph W. Yoder