Into The Hearth is the 14th volume of poetry by Wendy Slater.  Comprised of 70 poems, this volume is the first to be published in what will be a series of Slater's spiritual poetry.  Organized so each page has one poem on it, every one is numbered, beginning at 1401.  This makes sense, given the subtitle of this book is "Poems - Volume 14" however when one likes the poems it causes them to go looking for volumes 1-13, yet you end up just finding volumes 14, 15 and 16.  Especially since it's set as a series, starting at 14, at least for me, it has me always wondering what comes before. 

That being said, it is my one and only complaint.  Slater's poetry is filled with her own emotions and experiences and her imagery and word choice assist the reader in not only feeling something of what Slater was, but also taking the wisdom and philosophy from the poetry into their own lives.  Additionally, Slater's conservative use of punctuation allows for poems that flow smoothly and only pause when necessary. 

The poems themselves range in length from short, such as nine lines, to very long, encompassing three to four pages of the book.  They are intensely personal in nature and when one reads through the whole book, front to back one can really see the emotional and spiritual journeys Slater has been on in her life. 

Slater's poetry brings real life to real life, so to speak.  Her words of reality, encouragement, of questing through life and progress through murk take the reader right along with her  up to and including self acceptance, of shedding the need to search for the unattainable.  The words contained in Into the Hearth are healing and encouraging.  They show that everyone has struggles in their lives, even down to being one's authentic self.  She is down to Earth in one poem speaking of how she has finally accepted it's okay to have a beer yet in another she makes use of imagery and references from the Wizard of Oz.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  Wendy E Slater's Into the Hearth is for anyone who likes poetry regardless of religious choices, regardless of life experiences and though it is written by a woman and most certainly has a feminist bend, regardless of gender.  Highly, highly recommended.

~review by Jessica Elizabeth

Author: Wendy E. Slater
Traduka Publishing; 2015
$14.95; 88ppg

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