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Encore: Fruit and functionality: A conversation with Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo
Kate Lebo, ‘The Book of Difficult Fruit.’

This week during The Write Question, we return to Lauren’s 2021 conversation with poet, essayist, and pie lady Kate Lebo about The Book of Difficult Fruit, a dark and funny encyclopedia-memoir-essay collection-cookbook. Full of metaphor and even mystery, this is a book, and a conversation, for bakers and book-lovers alike!

Note: This conversation took place in partnership with the Montana Book Festival. You can watch the full, hour-long conversation with Lauren and Kate here.

About Kate:

Kate Lebo is the author of the cookbook Pie School and the poetry chapbook Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and is the coeditor, with Samuel Ligon, of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze. Her essay about listening through hearing loss, “The Loudproof Room,” originally appeared in New England Review and was anthologized in The Best American Essays 2015. She lives in Spokane, Washington, where she is an apprentice cheesemaker to Lora Lea Misterly of Quillisascut Farm.

Kate Lebo recommends:

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (Penguin Random House)

The Witch of Eye: Essays by Kathryn Nuernberger (Sarabande Books)

Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World by Lisa Wells (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Orangette,” a blog by Molly Wizenberg

Lauren Korn recommends:

Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour & Butter (Sasquatch Books) and A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press) by Kate Lebo

Piometry: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design for the Eye and the Palate by Lauren Ko (William Morrow Cookbooks)

WITCH by Rebecca Tamas (Penned in the Margins)

Violet Energy Ingots by Hoa Nguyen (Wave Poetry)

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner (Alfred A. Knopf)

Spell of the Sensuous by David Abrams (Vintage Books)

Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene edited by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Heather Anne Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt (University of Minnesota Press)

The Write Question team for this episode was Lauren Korn, host and co-producer; Peter Hoag, co-producer and editor; and Beth Anne Austein, sound engineer.

The Write Question logo and brand (2022) was designed by Molly Russell. You can see more of her work at and on Instagram @iamthemollruss. Our music was written and recorded by John Floridis.

Funding for The Write Question comes from Humanities Montana; members of Montana Public Radio; and from the Greater Montana Foundation—encouraging communication on issues, trends, and values of importance to Montanans.

The Write Question is a production of Montana Public Radio.

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now an Arts and Culture Producer at Montana Public Radio and the host of it’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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