Meet Seattle Poet and Pie Promoter Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo: poet of cats, herbs, and chocolate cream pie

I first met Kate several years ago when she was the front desk person at Richard Hugo House. Since then she has gone on to earn her MFA in Poetry and has created Pie School at High Five Pie and other venues around the country. On hot summer days Kate has also been known to open a pie stand in front of her house and invite everyone over for chocolate chiffon pie or peach or whatever happens to be in season. Poetry and pie making, why not?

In lesser hands this poetry pie thing could be considered a simple gimmick. Not so with Kate Lebo. Reading the poem "Chocolate Cream Pie" and "Mincemeat Pie" another poem that appears at The Monarch Review I realize her work reminds me of a 21st century C.P. Cavafy --- who lived at some point in his life, next to a bakery. Her poems begin in the senses -- with ingredients from the kitchen and then oftentimes launch into the surreal with a lovely hinge such as: "She isn't lying, exactly." And suddenly the world shifts on its axis and we are left wide awake. What I love is the generosity of the poems, Lebo creates a new world --- one in which we are all invited to the table.

In October 2013, Chin Music Press will publish her first book, A Commonplace Book of Pie, based on her best-selling zine of the same name. She's currently at work on a collection of erasures called From a Tree, which repurposes Wikipedia text to create a lyric grocery of seasonal produce. For poems, classes, and other tasty treats, visit

From The Monarch Review

Here's one of Kate Lebo's poems:

Chocolate Cream Pie

People who love chocolate cream pie move through this world in a swarm of music. Their cars leak bass lines; their exhaust sings from the dark of the pipe. Periodically they experiment with the softness of their genders and find them lacking every time, wear skirts to feel the hair on their thighs and pants to bind their bodies into the clean lines of a park bench. They invite you to sit down. The chocolate pie-lover would like to convince you that her height is three inches above the crown of her head. She isn’t lying, exactly. She’s creating the truth, believer by believer, just as you would if you too had a voice as big as a church.

--- Kate Lebo


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