Pittsburgh Quarterly Contributors
Kate Benz

Kate Benz

Kate Benz has been a professional writer for the past fifteen years with bylines appearing in The Tribune-​Review, Pittsburgh Magazine, Table Magazine, Pittsburgh Quarterly, and LOCAL Pittsburgh Magazine. She is also the author of an “Images of America” book on the history of Cranberry Township. When she is not writing, you can find her thoroughly enjoying a co-​dependent relationship with her dog or taking long, romantic walks down the makeup aisle.

It’s a Sip of Wine… It’s Summertime!

Kenny Chesney is at Heinz Field. White cowboy hat. Sleeveless shirt. Jeans. Leader of the “No Shoes Nation” and wearing cowboy boots. Sweating. Singing. And totally irritating the hospital security guards.

They Call Him the Rapper…

Donnie Iris is sitting in what’s supposed to be his dressing room on the second floor of the Rivers Casino. Down the hall from the Grand View Buffet and a line of people waiting behind velvet ropes for the $14.99 crab legs.

The Fight

“Tell me to be brave.” Jarrell “The Samurai” Brackett is in the basement of the Grand Hall of the Priory on Pressley Street in the North Side of Pittsburgh. Sparring. Pacing. Praying.

The Delay

“Oh, they are getting me to Dallas,” the woman says, white earphones plugged into a black Samsung. “I mean, seriously, a windshield wiper motor? Like, they couldn’t have figured out that was broken last night? When the plane landed?”

Bad Apples

The people are standing, sitting, heads down, waiting in line, eyes buried in iPhones. Dockers tucked into crisp blue Oxford button downs and rugby ties next to man buns and lip rings, neon yellow fake nails and plaid school uniforms. Black, white, fat, thin, in a rush, using a cane to slowly walk…

A Passion for Pasta

The handmade, white fettuccini pasta comes in 14 flavors like basil, hot red pepper, black pepper, chive, spinach, sun dried tomato, garlic basil, parsley and squid ink, which everyone always thinks is weird.

The Meticulous Carpenter

Kevin’s got to get back inside of the house on Marshall Road on Observatory Hill. There’s work he needs to do. But first, he wants to get Donnie some water.

In the Smokehouse with Herb

There are 400 pounds of bacon smoking in the smoker. Hickory smoked. With actual hickory.

Anne is All About Cookies

Anne is going to bake some pizzelles, but you get the house tour first.

Pasta with the Shimkos

There is spaghetti boiling in a big pot on the stove, Led Zeppelin playing on the radio and two silver bowls filled with thick, doughy, slices of bread on the kitchen counter.
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