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Eggnog, Hot Cider, Mulled Wine, and What Else?
Jin Chang
December 15, 2016 (2)

A Month of Turkey and Writing
Jin Chang
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Thanksgiving in Berlin
A.V. Crofts
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A New Tale of Noodles
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A Determined Swing
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The Typewriter Renaissance
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Spoonbill & Sugartown in NYC
Cali Kopczick
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Open Call: Submit to Ghosts of Seattle Past until April 30th
Cali Kopczick
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Ghosts of Seattle Past: Irish Wake for Lost Spaces
Allison Dunn
29 Monday, 2016 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Jay Gatsby
Allison Dunn
12 February, 2016 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Grendel's Mother
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Week of Literary Love: Victor Frankenstein
Allison Dunn
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Week of Literary Love: Lady Macbeth
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Our discomfort with language
Todd Shimoda
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Go see The Martian!
Matt Damon
22 September, 2015 (0)

A Katrina Scavenger Hunt
Rex Noone
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Hurricane Story revisited
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Five Essential Post Katrina Albums
David Rutledge
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Q&A with Zack Davisson
Ryan Chu
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Open Letter to the place called "Mushaboom"
TexMex Richards
30 June , 2015 (1)

TexMextern Reviews: Masculinity in the Time of Cholera
TexMex Richards
9 June , 2015 (0)

SIFF Special: Most Likely to Manipulate
David Rutledge
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TexMextern Reviews: Reviews with a Zest!
TexMex Richards
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A Tale of Two Noodles
Dandi Meng
11 May, 2015 (3)

It's Time We Started Talking About Endpapers
Dandi Meng
4 May, 2015 (2)

Spine Poetry
Dandi Meng
1 April, 2015 (3)

CMP Presents...12 by M. Lynch
Dandi Meng
10 March, 2015 (2)

Week of Literary Love: Bartleby the Scrivener
Dandi Meng
14 February, 2015 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Jean Valjean
Cali Kopczick
13 February, 2015 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Winnie-the-Pooh
Dandi Meng
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Week of Literary Love: Katniss Everdeen
Dandi Meng
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Week of Literary Love: Holden Caulfield
Dandi Meng
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Literary Showdown: Seattle vs. Boston
Dandi Meng
3 February , 2015 (2)

It's Time We Started Talking About Section Break Markers
Cali Kopczick
19 December, 2014 (2)

Short Run Festival Recap
Cali Kopczick
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Selling Culture: Japan and America's Trickiest Trade
Cali Kopczick
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History's Bestsellers in Translation Part II: Nonfiction
Cali Kopczick
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China/Seattle/Reykjavík: Ryan Boudinot on Seattle as a Global City of Literature
Cali Kopczick
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Cali Kopczick
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History's Bestsellers in Translation Part I: Fiction
Cali Kopczick
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Ramen Revisited: Tips from Ken Taya aka Enfu
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Kodawari Can Render the Prosaic Profound
Cali Kopczick
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Before the Summer Runs Out: A Road Trip Proposal
Cali Kopczick
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The High Art of Smelling Books
Cali Kopczick
August 4, 2014 (1)

Pike Place Location Opening and Lizard Telepathy Fox Telepathy Open House
Staff
July 28, 2014 (1)

Indie Book Publisher Opens Office/Retail Space in Seattle's Pike Place Market
Press Release
July 16, 2014 (0)

Q&A with "A Commonplace Book of Pie" Author Kate Lebo and Illustrator Jessica Lynn Bonin
David Jacobson
Oct. 9, 2013 (0)

A Broadside for Mardi Gras
Bruce Rutledge
February 12, 2013 (0)

Oprah Outs Armstrong; Irvin Mayfield Next?
Rex Noone
January 26, 2013 (0)

Friends of CMP
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Nippon-NOLA challenge: week 3
Bruce Rutledge
October 24, 2012 (2)

The NOLA-Nippon challenge: week 2
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October 6, 2012, 2012 (0)

The NOLA-Nippon challenge
Bruce Rutledge
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Infusing Nonfiction with Truth: American True Stories
Bruce Rutledge talks to Michael Rozek
June 29, 2012 (1)

Questions rain down on NOLA
Bruce Rutledge
June 18, 2012 (0)

En-Joying Kanji: A Review of Eve Kushner\'s Joy o' Kanji
David Jacobson
May 24, 2012 (1)

Michael Rozek Redefines Nonfiction
Bruce Rutledge
April 19, 2012 (3)

Viewed Sideways: a collection of essays by Donald Richie
D. Michael Ramirez II
December 30, 2011 (0)

New Orleans Book Fest
Bruce
November 4, 2011 (0)

Review: The Beautiful One Has Come (Suzanne Kamata)
D. Michael Ramirez II
August 12, 2011 (0)

The JET Program's Finest Hour
David Jacobson
July 9, 2011 (0)

And the winner is ...
Bruce Rutledge
July 5, 2011 (0)

An even dozen: slow books in a fast world
Bruce Rutledge
June 29, 2011 (1)

Last Chapter for an Island Bookstore?
David Jacobson
June 24, 2011 (0)

More than just another 'Kawaii' face
Bruce Rutledge
June 16, 2011 (0)

Hurricane Story - Free Offer!
Dave Jacobson
June 9, 2011 (0)

Books for Katrina-hit New Orleans Schools
David Jacobson
May 25, 2011 (0)

Todd Shimoda wins Hawaii's top literary award
Chin Music Press
April 12, 2011 (1)

"The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P": A Review
Will Eells
March 28, 2011 (0)

A great sorrow
Bruce Rutledge
March 25, 2011 (1)

Blog Entry
Q&A with "A Commonplace Book of Pie" Author Kate Lebo and Illustrator Jessica Lynn Bonin
David Jacobson
Oct. 9, 2013

CMP: What inspired A Commonplace Book of Pie?

Kate: A commonplace book is a way to collect bits of knowledgequotes, proverbs, poems, recipes, notesthat share a common theme or sensibility. I repurposed the form with the idea of creating a book that could include everythingquotes, poems, recipes, bits of ephemera that wouldnt have a place in a more traditional poetry collection. With pie as my guiding theme and an unlimited number of ways to write about it, I tried to make a book that redefined sweetness from many different angles.

Kate Lebo

A Commonplace Book of Pie started as my contribution to a collaborative show with artist Brian Schoneman. The idea was to create a fun, interactive project that brought the rituals of serving and eating pie into an unexpected place.

The audience response was heated and incredible.

At one point we were standing on chairs handing forkfuls of pie down to the crowd, and I looked out and saw that the entire room was transfixed on those bites. A Commonplace Book of Pie was the short zine with ten poems and four recipes that we offered up as the object our audience could keep and take away with them, the permanent bit of an otherwise ephemeral project.

CMP: How did you come to see pie as a metaphor?

Kate: I have poet and professor Heather McHugh (of the University of Washington) to thank for bringing me to the metaphor. During a class she said something along the lines that the container must be precise to contain the uncontainable.

She was talking about words, but also about our task as poets. The problem of the artist, she said, is to convey what is bigger than what you know while being precise in your word choices. It took me until nearly the end of the penultimate quarter of my M.F.A. to realize that we shared this obsession with containers but my container was made of dough.

CMP: Does knowing someones favorite kind of pie really reveal something about him/her as a person? How?

Kate: Yes and no. Pie can be revealing of character the way the zodiac can be revealing we want to recognize ourselves in the character profiles set down by the stars, we hope this gives us a clue about what to do with our particular set of gifts and foibles, we want to be recognized. Thats really what I hope to do by setting the book up as a sort of fantasy zodiacdescribe a series of personas using their desires, in a way that would invite the reader to see her or himself within the description, to feel and be recognized.

CMP: How do the illustrations work with the writing?

Kate: Jesss illustrations reinforce the books ability to value process over cleanly defined products by picturing the process and materials of making pie. She has this uncanny ability to make materials and objects come alive in her paintings in a way that tells a story about how theyre used.

Her painting of a sugar bag, for example, includes the folds in the top, how it curls over a bit, evidence of use, evidence of hands that have rolled it up and unrolled it repeatedly for the purpose of creating food. When I see that painting, I can feel the weight of the bag as its lifted from a cupboard, the way a little sugar scatters on the counter each time the top of the bag pops open.

Jessica: When Kate and I set out to collaborate on this project, I believe we knew inherently that we had very similar sensibilities. We grew up in the same town, were raised similarly, went to the same college; basically leading parallel lives until we met as adults. Our concept may be described as finding ourselves through the materials of our lives. Or perhaps, excavating the beauty and poetry from the simplest of moments. That the process of making something is just as important as the end result.

I believe that through repetitive study of the common object, I can not only explore my medium, but also examine some deeper questions about our culture and my own life as an American girl. I find it amazing how something like the creases in a well-worn C&H sugar bag or the shadow a plastic measuring cup casts on a Formica table can tell a story about life and love.

CMP: Kate, your latest zine, The Pie Lady Manifesto, has been paired with A Commonplace Book of Pie to put the book (and 1950s housewife style) into a feminist context. How do you reconcile being Seattles pie lady in a housedress with feminism?

Kate: I think my books can inhabit the domestic and feminist spheres without putting them in opposition to each other. A Commonplace Book of Pie enacts this idea by constantly pushing against the expectation that this is a book about piepie is just a conceit, the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down.

Ultimately, the goal of the book is to learn how to name desire, how to use fear and let go of shame. To simply want what you want. And be an active participant in the interpretation and appreciation of art, and of your own life.

Im interested in reclaiming domestic spaces as valid places to make art. If my subjects and my image borrow from mid-century housewifedom, its because I find those things beautiful and evocative and confusing.

If I dress like a retro housewife, its a chance to show people that decorations of femininity do not make a woman decorative. I dont have to wear a mohawk to be punk, or a business suit to be powerful. Radical women pursue all sorts of projects in all sorts of costumes. There is no one feminism, no right way to be an active creator of your own life.

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