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Words for the People: You want somethin' to eat?

Malcolm Wilson

Through food we love.

The offer to share food with someone can represent acceptance, comfort, and community. In this episode of “Words For The People,” Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson goes into the kitchen to explore how food works its way out into every part of our lives. 

Through food we express what we cannot say. 

Award-winning author Robert Gipe talks with Crystal about a character from his latest book “Pop,” who cooks a whole pack of bacon for his niece because it’s the only way he knew how to convey comfort in her pain. Robert also reminds us of the simple joy and deep connection found in naming food with others and recollects the speech pattern of “calling the names of the candy bars” with his friends while growing up in Tennessee. Read more about Robert Gipe here

Through food we remember. 

“It’s one of the main ways that I think about and remember my mother,” author Marianne Worthington explains to Crystal as they discuss how we search for memories in our favorite foods. Marianne also reads selections from “The Girl Singer,” her recent book which won the Weatherford award for Poetry. You can find more of Marianne’s work here

As always, this episode includes one author passing on wisdom about the craft of writing to another. In this episode both Robert and Marianne reference the power of taking risks on the page. Marianne encourages writers to surprise people. “There’s enough nostalgia in the world. There’s enough preciousness in the world. The riskier you are, the better.” Both guests in this episode also have dual citizenship in Kentucky and Tennessee and share the distinctions of these identities and how it has impacted their writing journey. 

And on this episode, listener Mackenzie Berry shares her poem, “Hot Brown.”

Sally co-produces the podcast "Words for the People." Email Sally as sevans@lpm.org.