• Poetry à la Pie: Kate Lebo

    Posted Posted by Guest Writer in WBN News & Events     Comments No comments

    A Commonplace Book of PieIt began as a project in 2010. Visiting poet Kate Lebo was working at Seattle’s Hugo House, tasked with creating a joint project with visual artist Brian Schoneman as part of Strange Coupling, a program that pairs visual arts MFA candidates with working artists. They were struggling to find common ground. They both knew they were sick of “snobby” projects, but that was about it. Until, that is, they found a “commonplace”: pie.

    Warm, comforting, delicious–pie was about as far away from “snobby” as they could get. But it wasn’t until Lebo observed the reactions to their joint project–a traditional pie safe with two freshly baked pies cooling below–that the true intrigues and allure of pie revealed themselves.

    Soon, Lebo left the Hugo House for the University of Washington’s MFA program, and found herself writing poem after poem about pie, using this new project as an escape from her grad school-induced stress. When baking pie and writing pie poems, she didn’t have to be perfect. She could just bake and write and be.

    The project blossomed first into a chapbook, then into a pie school, and now into A Commonplace Book of Pie, for which she is currently touring the U.S. In the most obvious respect, this delightful book of poems is a horoscope of sorts; at readings, audience members shout out their favorite kind of pie and Lebo reads an appropriate poem to describe them. And yet, A Commonplace Book of Pie is also a beautiful exploration of what it means to bake for those you love–a means of embracing your own humanity. It is at once feminine, feminist and, as the tagline for her pie school reads, “cliché busting.” There are even tips on how best to eat pie.

    For a chance to hear Kate read her poems and even snag a slice of her delicious pie while she’s in Austin, check out any one of her three upcoming events this weekend and next week.

    Saturday, November 2nd: Pie stand at the Whole Foods Lamar Culinary Center. Mini pie making demonstrations at 1:30 and 2:30, readings throughout the day and samples of her handiwork, both written and baked.

    Thursday, November 7th: 7 p.m. reading at Book Woman. The ensuing discussion will cover A Commonplace Book of Pie,  Sylvia Plath’s Ariel and The Pie Lady Manifesto.

    Sunday, November 10th: 11 – 1 Mueller Farmers Market, pie demonstrations and readings.

    See you at these events for some scrumptious pie and poetry!

    What’s your favorite poem, pie, or poem about pie? Let us know in the comments below.


    Leah KaminskyLeah Kaminsky is a short story and freelance writer originally from Ithaca, NY. She received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington in 2009. She has placed three times in Glimmer Train top 25 lists and was nominated for inclusion in Best New American Voices, 2008. Her work has appeared on the Rumpus, Pindeldyboz, The Yellow Ham and her mother’s fridge right next to that picture of bath time circa 1987. She is a big fan and producer of short-shorts and comics, which she posts semi-regularly on her website, leahkaminsky.wordpress.com. She is in the midst of launching Just Start Applications, a business, college and graduate school consultancy, located in Texas and operating mostly online.




    0 0 votes
    Article Rating
    Notify of

    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x