Recipe for a Good Book by Irene Latham

I love to cook. So it's no surprise that food sometimes comes up in my books.

In LEAVING GEE'S BEND, reader letters often mention the big breakfast Ludelphia has at Mrs. Cobb's house -- where she also drinks a coke for the very first time! When I visit book clubs, refreshments often include Coke and Ludelphia's Lemon Pound Cake, a recipe adapted from my Grandma Dykes's recipe. It's old-school, dense, moist, delicious. Yum!

More recently, I've written a collection of short, lyrical, imaginative poems about tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, peaches, and more called FRESH DELICIOUS: Poems from the Farmers' Market. It's releasing March 8, 2016, from WordSong/Boyds Mills Press with charming illustrations by Mique Moriuchi. I'm currently planning a Farmers' Market tour. Because what's better than books & food?!

Finally, here is a poem I wrote called "Recipe for a Good Book." I wanted it works for readers AND for writers. Still working on it. Enjoy!

Recipe for a Good Book
by Irene Latham

Mix characters
worth caring about

with a fresh
flavorful plot.

Add a dollop
of delectable language,

season with a pinch
of style.

Stir in conflict
and tension;

bring to a boil.
Let sit; simmer.

Savor the flavor
of a delicious new you.

- Irene Latham


  1. Looking forward to your new book, Irene, & love the poem with picture! "Cooking up a book" is a wonderful way to imagine writing.

    1. Thanks for reading, Linda! It IS soup season, isn't it?! Yay! xo

  2. Love poems centered around food! Your words always inspire me, Irene! Happy writing and eating!

  3. I love the variety of projects you jump into. Look forward to seeing this new one. Will you be at NCTE this year?

  4. what a joyful cover! looking forward to FRESH DELICIOUS -- love the topic/theme!

  5. I love finding recipes in books...I discovered red eye gravy in FRIED GREEN TOMATOES.

  6. What a wonderful idea for a book: farmers' market poems! Each farmer's stand is a visual and sensory poem in itself, and you had the brilliant thought of writing them down.


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