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poet

Julia Spicher Kasdorf

1962- , Lewistown , PA , United States
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Julia Spicher Kasdorf
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Julia Spicher Kasdorf was born in Lewistown, Pennsylvania, on December 6, 1962. She was educated at Goshen College and New York University.

She is the author of the poetry collections Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2018), which includes photographs by Steven Rubin; Poetry in America (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011); Eve's Striptease (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998); and Sleeping Preacher (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992), which received the 1991 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Award for New Writing in 1993.

She is also the author of the biography Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American (Herald Press, 2003) and of The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), which won the Book of the Year Award from the Modern Language Association's Conference on Christianity and Literature. With Michael Tyrell, she edited the anthology Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn (2007).

Her work has been described by the poet Eamon Grennan as "Crosshatched by body, spirit, and the relation between them; animated by bright instinctive exchanges between carnal and religious zones of experience; driven by an honest, explicitly female consciousness of what 'animal' and 'soul' might mean."

Kasdorf teaches creative writing at Pennsylvania State University.


Bibliography

Poetry
Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields (Pennsylvania State University Press, 2018)
Poetry in America (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011); 
Eve's Striptease (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1998)
Sleeping Preacher (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1992)

Prose
Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American (Herald Press, 2003)
The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001)

by this poet

poem
We keep our quilts in closets and do not dance.
We hoe thistles along fence rows for fear
we may not be perfect as our Heavenly Father.
We clean up his disasters. No one has to
call; we just show up in the wake of tornadoes
with hammers, after floods with buckets.
Like Jesus, the servant, we wash each other's
poem
At dusk the girl who will become my mom
must trudge through the snow, her legs
cold under skirts, a bandanna tight on her braids.
In the henhouse, a klook pecks her chapped hand
as she pulls a warm egg from under its breast.
This girl will always hate hens, 
and she already knows she won't marry a farmer.
In a
poem
Among the first we learn is good-bye, 
your tiny wrist between Dad's forefinger 
and thumb forced to wave bye-bye to Mom, 
whose hand sails brightly behind a windshield. 
Then it's done to make us follow:
in a crowded mall, a woman waves, "Bye, 
we're leaving," and her son stands firm 
sobbing, until at last he