About Kelly Spivey

I'm a former pastry chef turned oral historian and writer. Originally from North Carolina, I've lived all over the country, before settling in my current hometown of Denver, CO. I hold a M.F.A. in Documentary Expression and a M.A. in Southern Studies with a minor in Gender Studies, both from the University of Mississippi. I also holds a B.F.A. in Photography from SCAD. My current research and writing focuses on the intersections of baking with labor, gender, and race in both domestic and professional kitchen spaces. I am also working on a series of oral histories focusing on bake sales as a response to social injustice.

Kelly Spivey is a writer and documentarian based in Denver.

Kelly's website

NBN Episodes hosted by Kelly:

Crystal Wilkinson, "Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts: Stories and Recipes from Five Generations of Black Country Cooks" (Clarkson Potter, 2023)

May 2, 2024

Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts

Crystal Wilkinson
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

Years ago, when O. Henry Prize-winning writer Crystal Wilkinson was baking a jam cake, she felt her late grandmother’s presence. She soon realized tha…

Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt, "Boardinghouse Women: How Southern Keepers, Cooks, Nurses, Widows, and Runaways Shaped Modern America" (UNC Press, 2023)

March 31, 2024

Boardinghouse Women

Elizabeth S. D. Engelhardt
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

In Boardinghouse Women: How Southern Keepers, Cooks, Nurses, Widows, and Runaways Shaped Modern America (UNC Press, 2023), Elizabeth Engelhardt argues…

Alicia Kennedy, "No Meat Required: The Cultural History and Culinary Future of Plant-Based Eating" (Beacon Press, 2023)

March 6, 2024

No Meat Required

Alicia Kennedy
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

A culinary and cultural history of plant-based eating in the United States that delves into the subcultures and politics that have defined alternative…

Benjamin A. Wurgaft and Merry White, "Ways of Eating: Exploring Food Through History and Culture" (U California Press, 2023)

December 17, 2023

Ways of Eating

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft and Merry White
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

What we learn when an anthropologist and a historian talk about food.From the origins of agriculture to contemporary debates over culinary authenticit…

Diane Flynt, "Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived: The Surprising Story of Apples in the South" (UNC Press, 2023)

September 20, 2023

Wild, Tamed, Lost, Revived

Diane Flynt
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

For anyone who's ever picked an apple fresh from the tree or enjoyed a glass of cider, writer and orchardist Diane Flynt offers a new history of the a…

Robert F. Moss, "The Lost Southern Chefs: A History of Commercial Dining in the Nineteenth-Century South" (U Georgia Press, 2022)

September 12, 2023

The Lost Southern Chefs

Robert F. Moss
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

In recent years, food writers and historians have begun to retell the story of southern food. Heirloom ingredients and traditional recipes have been r…

Jeanne K. Firth, "Feeding New Orleans: Celebrity Chefs and Reimagining Food Justice" (UNC Press, 2023)

September 9, 2023

Feeding New Orleans

Jeanne K. Firth
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, many high-profile chefs in New Orleans pledged to help their city rebound from the flooding. Several formed their own…

Bobby J. Smith II, "Food Power Politics: The Food Story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement" (UNC Press, 2023)

August 16, 2023

Food Power Politics

Bobby J. Smith II
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

Bobby J. Smith II's book Food Power Politics: The Food Story of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement (UNC Press, 2023 )unearths a food story buried d…

Erica Abrams Locklear, "Appalachia on the Table: Representing Mountain Food and People" (U Georgia Press, 2023)

July 28, 2023

Appalachia on the Table

Erica Abrams Locklear
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

When her mother passed along a cookbook made and assembled by her grandmother, Erica Abrams Locklear thought she knew what to expect. But rather than …

Rebecca Sharpless, "Grain and Fire: A History of Baking in the American South" (UNC Press, 2022)

July 25, 2023

Grain and Fire

Rebecca Sharpless
Hosted by Kelly Spivey

While a luscious layer cake may exemplify the towering glory of southern baking, like everything about the American South, baking is far more complica…