Lauren Stikeleather is a Boston native. Her first book, A Mixing Pot of Poems for Thought was originally published on 7 December 2020. A Mixing Pot of Poems for Thought is a collection of rhyming poems. The poetry in this book explores love, forgiveness and healing.

In A Mixing Pot of Poems for Thought, Lauren the writer of the book includes stories and insights from her life as she navigated her life through the years and the observations that she made about the world and the people around her. The poems tell us that all the people in this world are more similar in ways than we like to think. The book explores the interrelations of love and time, forgiveness and healing, humanity and change, and optimism and understanding.

A Mixing Pot of Poems for Thought is written in two parts. Part 1 is  The Ingredients and Part 2 is The Cooking.

Part 1 The Ingredients has chapters 1, 2 and 3:

  • Chapter 1 – Discovering the Sweet,
  • Chapter 2 – Tasting the Salt and
  • Chapter 3 – Adding the Spice.

All these chapters in part 1 talk about how love grows and develops in so many ways and how love is everything but uncomplicated. The poems express how relationships take time to develop and to do that it is important to know yourself better before getting involved romantically with someone else. When relationships end heartbreak is inevitable, which causes hurt, but overtime this hurt can be a source of empowerment and lead to the discovery of new kinds of strength you never knew you had, Lauren tells us that through her rhyme and rhythm in poems.

Part 2 of the book has two chapters 4 and 5 respectively :

  • Chapter 4 – Stirring in Savoury and
  • Chapter 5 – Creating New Recipes.

Part 2 of book will show you how we all are connected and tied together by how we experience the world, and how much of our happiness in life is dependent on our capability of understanding ourselves and other people at the same time. Part 2 also explores how life is full of many little and good things and how these things are important in life and how there is so much more to do and live in life everyday.

There are some poems from this book that will stay with you, like One and the Same from part 1 The Ingredients and Chapter 1 Discovering the Sweet. ‘One and the Same’ talks about how we all are similar in our desire to love and be loved, but we also have a fear of it (love). It also talks about the process of learning that we are all independent in our journey of life but at the end of the day we are not really alone. This poem emphasizes the growth and discovery of oneself and how it is inevitable that we will find someone simply because we know ourselves and we know what we want.

Another poem ‘Done’ from chapter 3 Adding the Spice is one of the most relatable poems in the whole book. Done poem is about not tolerating any negative behaviour from anyone. The poem contains lines that everyone has been through or heard of at one point or another in life. The poem has a message of frustration of all the negative impact people have but at the same time it is also about growth. The poem ends on the on a sharp note as Lauren Stikeleather writes, ‘Today I am done.’

You will love this book if you like to relate to the books you read. A Mixing Pot of Poems for Thought makes you feel that you are not alone in what you are feeling. This book will make you ponder and ask questions to yourself like, why are we as humans sometimes short-sighted in the way we discern emotions? or what are the parts of people I am not noticing? A Mixing Pot of Poems will make you want to fight with growing societal norms that sometimes turn a blind eye towards hurt and emotions. This collection of poems also proves that the rhyming is not just meant for children’s books.