The story behind the butter, the booze, and the writing...


Pie & Whiskey started in 2012 as a reading in Spokane, Washington. The idea was to serve good pie, good whiskey, and good writers reading prose or poetry about pie and whiskey. We thought there was something right about the combination—pie in your left hand, whiskey in your right. We thought there was something weirdly American about it, too—Saturday night debauch meets Sunday morning brunch. Cowboys don’t walk into saloons and order gin. We don’t say, “American as motherhood and apple cake.”

By serving up great writing and sugary, boozy treats, we create a social space where the audience engages in a kind of conspiracy with the writers, the writers are also audience members, and the writers and the audience feed off each other, all of us eating homemade pie and drinking good, local whiskey. This night is for adults only, which means we can be entirely adolescent as we read and listen to stories about bad breakups and bad sex and good sex and bad drugs and good drugs and church and politics and whiskey and pie and everything else that happens after the kiddies go to bed.

Five years, eight readings, 500 gallons of whiskey, and 30,000 square feet of pie later, we’re proud to present an anthology of the best pieces from our first half-decade, plus new work from some of our favorite writers today.

We hope you’ll join us for a Pie & Whiskey near you. Or throw your own. Or check out the book and enjoy our meditations on sugar and booze. As the Irish say, “What butter and whiskey won’t cure, there is no cure for.”

Yours in sweet corruption,

Kate and Sam


More about the founders of Pie & Whiskey

Samuel Ligon

Samuel Ligon is the author of two novels—Among the Dead and Dreaming and Safe in Heaven Dead—and two collections of stories, Wonderland, illustrated by Stephen Knezovich, and Drift and Swerve. He teaches at Eastern Washington University and is Artistic Director of the Port Townsend Writers’ Conference.

More about Sam

Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo is the author of Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour, and Butter (Sasquatch Books), and A Commonplace Book of Pie (Chin Music Press). Her new book of nonfiction, The Book of Difficult Fruit, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

More about Kate


Photography by Rajah Bose

Pie & Whiskey – the Get Lit! Years

Get Lit! has hosted six Pie and Whiskey readings. The event is hosted by writers Samuel Ligon and Kate Lebo, and features readings of flash fiction, flash nonfiction, and poetry inspired by everyone’s favorite food and drink.

More about Pie & Whiskey at Get Lit!

Thanks to all the Get Lit! staff, the volunteers, and the readers over the years.

Thanks to Don Poffenroth and Dry Fly Distillery for sponsoring Pie & Whiskey readings.

Thanks to everyone at Sasquatch Books.

Thanks to Christine Holbert and Lost Horse Press.

Thanks to Russ Davis and Gray Dog Press.