A Commonplace Book of Pie (Photo:
A Commonplace Book of Pie (Photo:

Two years after my piece ran in Gastronomica, a friend introduced me to Kate Lebo via the letterpress zine A Commonplace Book of Pie. Kate Lebo was an MFA student at the University of Washington where I worked so I looked her up in the directory and invited her to coffee.

That first coffee turned into lunches a couple times a year, often at various haunts on University Way. We talked about food, writing, and, of course, pie. I introduced her to the editor of Gastronomica, and they later published her poem “Rhubarb.” I cheered her over kabobs when Chin Music Press offered her a contract to expand her zine into a book. It was released to the world in October 2013.

Kate toured heavily to promote the hardcover A Commonplace Book of Pie. She invited me to co-host an event at the University of Washington bookstore that would primarily be a conversation like the many we shared since meeting.

The evening was terrific fun. Our easy banter mixed well with a full house. Students from Kate’s brought pies they baked for attendees to sample while waiting to have their book signed. Chelsey Slattum, Kate’s publicist, even slipped me a business card for Chin Music Press publisher Bruce Rutledge.

It sat on my desk for four months.

Chelsey reached out in April. Bruce wanted to meet. He had been in the audience that night and later read my blog which, by that time, now had more than 50 entries.

Lunch was scheduled for May 6, 2014 at the Banana Leaf Café, blocks away from Kate’s event that started it all

Thanks, Kate.



super PIEs instead of super PACs

One month ago, a friend and I threw two political fundraisers for hundreds of people. We called them “Super PIEs not Super PACs” and showcased the exquisite pie talents of poet and pie maker Kate Lebo, of Pie School fame.

We raised FIFTY-EIGHT times what the fundraiser cost us to produce. We raised tens of thousands of dollars. As I’ve written in earlier posts, pie is currency.

And if you have the equivalent of Kate’s pies in your bank account, you’ve got the strongest currency out there.

One week ago, I wrote this on my Facebook timeline:

I have never had an abortion.
But I voted to protect my right to have that choice.

I have never been married in the eyes of either state I call home: Washington and Maine.
But I voted to gain that right.

I have never felt pressure to hide my religious beliefs.
But I voted to preserve the separation of church and state.

I have never known what it feels like to be a man.
But I voted to make sure I earn as much as one.
I have never chosen to have children.
But I voted for a world in which I would want to raise one.

Pie for all and all for pie.