Classy Talk with Kate Lebo

Posted Mon, 6/17/2013 - 11:12pm by  |  Category:

We talked a little with Kate Lebo, our local pie-poet extraordinaire, about her class How to Cook a Book.

What is the title of your class?
How to Cook a Book

People should take this class because?
You eat food, you’re a writer. Clearly, you’re a natural food writer.

I’m in the midst of writing a pie cookbook for Sasquatch Books right now. My research and writing keeps leading me back to three questions: How do we know what we know? How do we offer expertise, and how do we accept it? 

In this class, we’ll use the form of the recipe, the food poem, and the personal (food related) essay to ask these questions of ourselves, our readers, and our writing. We’ll take a long cold look at food-writing cliches to figure out how they serve us and how they undermine us. We’ll read some of my favorite writing anywhere, which might become your new favorite too.

Can your students connect with you on social media? If so, how?
Find me on tumblr:  

Are any of your works online and available to the public? (If no, we’ll remove this question from your survey)

Poetry Online
-AGNI OnlineOverwintering
-Best New Poets and City Arts MagazineEvery Beginning Wants a Good Place to Start
-94.9 KUOW: Ferry and Renting Again
-The Monarch ReviewThree Poems and Two Poems 
-Poetry Northwest (via Ink Node): Happy Birthday
-Ink NodeAsleep on Repeat

What are you reading right now?

Pie: a Global History by Janet Clarkson
The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon
The Alice B Toklas Cook Book
Eat, Pray, Love (finally) 
Perfection Salad by Laura Shapiro

What excites you about the material you’re teaching?
I’ve never heard anyone talk about the recipe as a literary form. We’re going to do that. You and me—we’re going to figure out how this thing works.

What do you like best about teaching at Hugo House?
The students. Of course! My last class blew me away. SO smart, generous, funny, and talented. I think I learned as much from them as they did from me.

If there was one piece of advice you could give an aspiring writer, what would it be?
This is cliche but so true: write. A lot. All the time. Ask for help. Find mentors you respect. Find peers you respect. Share your work with them. Keep writing.

Is there a book, poem, essay, etc. by another author that you wish you had written yourself? Why?
The entire time I was reading The Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler I was kicking myself for not writing that book first. Not that I have near the culinary expertise she does, but I am an expert at one food: pie. For my pie cookbook, I’m doing a little riff on her excellent recipe-free writing. I can’t wait to show it to you.