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Friend’s bequest enables poet to publish her book
A woman who took up poetry at the tender age of 75 is launching her first book in time for her 80th birthday.
Margaret Slater was able to publish her work thanks to a bequest from a friend and neighbour, who died of cancer.
Mrs Slater has dedicated the volume to that friend, Sussane Mathews, and she is planning to donate all profits to Martin House Hospice.
In God’s Garden is described by Mrs Slater as a “book of spiritual verse”, but she stresses her work also includes humour and aims to “highlight a lighter side to knowing God”.
Mrs Slater, a widow, who has two sons and seven grandchildren, is Worship Leader at Yeadon Methodist Church, and also part of a confidential listening team based there.
Having never written a poem in her entire adult life, Mrs Slater was inspired to put pen to paper after seeing a TV programme about poetry.
“I thought that was brilliant and I sat down and wrote a poem – which wasn’t very good,” she said.
But she joined a creative writing class run by a friend at church and was encouraged to publish her work. “I might go for weeks and weeks and not write a single thing. And then suddenly something comes into my head again,” she said.
Mrs Slater, who is 80 in August, is planning to launch her book at the Martin House Hospice shop in Yeadon High Street on July 27. She will be signing copies at the shop from 10am to 2pm.
Mrs Slater praised the charity shop workers and said she was aiming to raise as much money as possible for the hospice.
She hopes her book will appeal to others.
“My biggest nightmare is I will die and 250 books will be put into the coffin and burnt with me,” she laughed.
The book can also be ordered for £5.99 plus postage on (0113) 2503583.