“Shale, a type of fine-grained, sedimentary rock, is found all over the state of Kentucky. Its abundance is only matched by that of limestone, which often sits above shale in the geological layers that lie beneath the Bluegrass. As Limestone is the name of the University of Kentucky’s graduate English journal, we thought it appropriate to reference this pairing of the two. They are found naturally coupled, and this is the way the journals that arose out of the university’s English department should also be found.”
—Ashleigh Lovelace, “Letter from the Editor,” Spring 2012

Shale was originally founded under the name The Cat’s Figment as a Jury Project for the Gaines Center for the Humanities. Since its inception, it has been run by driven students who have successively widened the journal’s reach to include more of the undergraduate arts community. In 2011, The Cat’s Figment was renamed Shale as a nod of respect and admiration for the graduate literary and arts journal, Limestone.

The change was also to reflect our new partnership with the Writing Center, as we shared the common goal of improving the undergraduate writing community. Shale now has formed a partnership with the English Department, as well as an association with the Office of International Affairs. The latter association is to reflect Shale’s new aim of incorporating poetry and prose in world languages into the creative community that we hope to foster. Other partners include WRFL radio; the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; the Department of Hispanic Studies; Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Organization; Graphite Creative Writing Association; and the Chellgren Center for Undergraduate Excellence.

Shale is run by a philosophy of opportunity. We hope to provide the chance for passionate undergraduates to publish their art in written or visual form. We maintain this philosophy when it comes to the composition of our staff.