A Commonplace Book of Pie

About the Book

About the Book

A Commonplace Book of Pie combines high art, pop culture, practical resource, and fantasy zodiac to make a collection of facts both real and imagined about pie. It’s a poetry book that fits in the cookbook section, a cookbook that resists the demands of traditional recipes. One can read A Commonplace Book of Pie as a fanciful take on what your favorite dessert says about you, or one can read it as a manifesto of, as Heather McHugh describes it, “not so much the secret’s telling as the telling secret.” With full color illustrations by Jessica Lynn Bonin, published by Chin Music Press in October 2013.

About the Zine

A Commonplace Book of Pie

A Commonplace Book of Pie started as a handmade lark–just one part of a collaborative art project with sculptor Brian Schoneman. With the support of independent booksellers it went on to become a paperback bestseller in Seattle, beloved by zine and pie enthusiasts across the nation. Copies of the original zine are no longer for sale, but if you represent a library and would like a copy for your archive, get in touch.

Reviews

Bookslut

The biggest literary surprise for me last year was what I found between the covers of Kate Lebo’s A Commonplace Book of Pie.

Shelf Awareness, starred review

In prose poems, Kate Lebo brings new meaning to apple, pumpkin and mumbleberry pie, among others, in the delightfully amusing A Commonplace Book of Pie….Charming to read…A Commonplace Book of Pie is anything but commonplace.

City Arts Magazine

Her language, like her stage presence, is simultaneously accessible and elevated, lush, dense and funny, filled with knowing winks and the sparkle of shared experience.

Swallow Daily

This book could have only come from the Pacific Northwest, there’s something honest and sweet about it, nothing forced or twee. It is imbued with pioneer spirit, but not in any kind of earnest way. It reminds me of Twin Peaks, I can imagine it being on a shelf in the kitchen of Norma Jennings’ Double R Diner.

Zester Daily

These are not anecdotes about your aunt’s legacy bubbling up in sunny syrup each time you make peach pie. Rather, these lyric narratives are gripping slices of dreamed lives.

The Food Poet

I would entreaty that this book arrives just in time for other reasons: we all need a diversion to pull into the cheerful family gatherings that like spools of string can unravel so quickly into disarray. Lebo’s poetry is subtle enough that your family members who claim they don’t like poetry or have never read it will be entranced by her clever work.

Radish Magazine

Full of whimsy and tips…Lebo’s book is a warm and welcoming collection that revels in the delights of both poetry and pie.

The Monarch Review

Kate Lebo’s beautiful book (with accompanying art by Jessica Lynn Bonin)…is packed with playful poetry, characterization, tasty details and an appreciable presumption of knowing – really knowing – what a thing can be or what a person can be like.

Jama’s Alphabet Soup

The saying goes, “easy as pie,” but in this poem as well as others in her book, Kate examines not only the personalities that align with certain pie types, but also the mysteries and complexities of pie as metaphor — what is hidden beneath the top crust? Why the tension between the container and the contained? Does the filling speak of glorious summer days or the dark broken pieces of regret?

Food Riot

This little book, no bigger than a postcard, is like the cupcake of coffee table books, small and unassuming but full of so much goodness and whimsy…Verdict: TAKE, enjoy, read and re-read, and then give another one as a gift to fellow lovers of pie.

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