“This project began as a reading series organized by Lebo and Ligon, in which they sent 12 writers a pie and whiskey prompt to inspire new work. Six years later, they have created an anthology that’s just as eclectic, drunk and delicious.”
— The New York Times
“The servings Lebo and Ligon curated to create “Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze” prove there’s magic in this mating of sweetness and sin. All it takes to yield stunning, delicious prose, the pair discovered, is a suggestion: Pie. Whiskey. Both, perhaps. Why not? The chemistry is undeniable…. Pie & Whiskey feels as subversive as it does seasonally appropriate. ”
“This book is small enough to fit in somebody’s Christmas stocking, and it also contains a lot of swearing. Of course, those are both selling points for the right person.”
“There’s a surprising, unexpected thread throughout the collection: connection. Those small interpersonal moments that create memories, solidify friendships, and linger in the mind long after: they’re all pie and whiskey moments.”
— San Francisco Book Review
“In vino, veritas; in whiskey, wit; in pie pleasure. With that Latin-inspired preamble, we are called west to an all-American literary event held annually in Spokane and Missoula named Pie & Whiskey. And yes, pie and whiskey are served while seriously talented writers read their new works loosely based on, yes again, pie and whiskey.”
“The key ingredient in Pie and Whiskey, both the event and the book, is its playfulness and accessibility. In each of the eight events held in Spokane and Missoula since 2012, in which Lebo and Ligon invite regional writers to submit short work about pie and/or whiskey, and then read that work in front of hundreds of people eating pie and drinking whiskey, things get rowdy. ‘To me it’s what a reading should be,’ says Jess Walter. ‘It’s lively and fun, and no one has that upward lilting poet voice.’ Plus, he says, butter and booze make a fertile prompt for writers.”
— Seattle Met
“It is in many ways a perfect match. Pie is Sunday school and light and sweet and happiness. Whiskey is strong and smooth, and a little devilish, not churchy in the least. Throw in some words stitched together by some of the region’s best writers – writers under the influence of butter and booze, as they say – and it’s a recipe for a night of literary celebration.”
— The Spokesman Review
“Whether in reading or in hearing, any electric crackle comes down to that essential Manichaean — yet equally American — duality. Pie and whiskey. Prose and performance. Innocence and experience. Sweetness and swagger. Sunday morning and Saturday night. Without one, the other loses color and context.”
— The Inlander
“Themes are a blessing, but some themes are too broad to work with, and others are too specific. “Pie and whiskey” falls right into the Goldilocks zone of themes.”
— The Seattle Review of Books
Pie & Whiskey on Spokane Public Radio’s “The Bookshelf:”
— Episode 1 features readings by Tod Marshall, Rachel Toor, Laura Read, and Shawn Vestal.
— Episode 2 features readings by Kate Lebo, Chris Howell, Nicole Sheets, and Jess Walter.
— Episode 3 features readings by Thom Caraway, Sam Ligon, Jacob Fries, and Maya Jewel Zeller.
“The Pie and Whiskey Reading gets to the core of contentedness. Sure, people like to talk up fancy dinners and elaborate cocktails, but at the end of the day 95 percent of Montanans just want a place to relax and eat pie and sip whiskey.”
— The Missoula Independent
“The ever-popular Pie and Whiskey is returning this year. The literary concoction, which features a slice of pie, a shot of whiskey and a great lineup of authors, was founded in Spokane and has found success for its combination on the road.”
— The Missoulian