Kate Lebo & Lisa Wells
Two excellent poets with Northwest roots and Northwest homebases work in prose forms to beautiful and telling effect in this joint virtual reading by Kate Lebo and Lisa Wells. Coming over the Cascades to us from Spokane is Kate Lebo, whose books include Pie School, the poetry chapbook Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rogers and her co-edited Pie & Whiskey, she is her with The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes) (Farrar, Straus & Giroux).
“Kate Lebo has written a thorny and twisty memoir disguised as a compendium of problematic fruits (and grains, and stems, and seeds). She doesn’t so much describe as confront her subjects: their poisonous pits, treacherous thorns, offensive odors, and invasive roots. But her buckets of foraged berries, her tart jams, and her bright and potent cordials live in the real world alongside troubled families, rampant wildfires, and the prickly terror of a newfound tumor. Kate Lebo is the best kind of poet-naturalist: her writing is savage and lyrical and scientific all at once. The Book of Difficult Fruit is feral and fierce—and I never thought I’d say that about a book on fruit.” —Amy Stewart.
Working different but not unrelated ground in her eloquent, and fierce in its ways new book, Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), Lisa Wells seeks out those who do their utmost to refashion human life on the planet in a way that can sustain and nourish, even in the face of immense odds. Herself a poet (The Fix) originally from Portland and now in Seattle, this is one of the most necessary books 2021 will see published.
“Believers is a young woman’s book of wandering at a time when our human footprint on earth matters more than ever. Lisa Wells follows a cast of unruly and colorful characters who believe their work on the land and with one another is a healing force . . . She never loses sight of her inspired objective, to restore and revive what she refers to as 'the promised land.'"—Gretel Ehrlich, The New York Times Book Review.
“Believers . . . grapples with the question of how to go forward in the shadow of endings — not only our own, but the endings of species and ecosystems, of cultures and of language . . . The question is not of what we face but how we can face it bravely and creatively.”—Lydia Millet, Los Angeles Times.