Jo Slade’s new collection The Painter’s House is organized thematically into six sections, which explore memory, displacement, creative isolation, painting, and human sympathy. Many poems include a geographical tag as part of the title or a quote to orient the reader, spatially and emotionally. What unifies the collection is the poet’s search for meaning and an emotional connection to her world. Slade conveys this struggle in her poem 'Leaving', about a boy who throws a tantrum at the beginning of a sea voyage. The events of the poem serve both a narrative and allegorical function: After his tantrum, the boy watches through a porthole, ‘"Look Mam the pier is moving”’ and the poem’s speaker states, “Home’s back there — / it’s where we’re leaving.” This last line gives the title of the poem its final word, while suggesting in a much broader sense that home must inevitably be elsewhere.