Your Hearth

Our HEARTH anthology is meant to encourage readers to explore ideas about their own hearths and to join an open discussion with friends and strangers about the relevance and meanings of hearth in their lives, families, and communities. This interactive site invites every reader, book club, library group, high school or college class, and social media user to enter into the conversation.

In addition to the online discussion we offer here, we suggest a more intimate approach. Invite friends to dinner and start the hearth conversation among people who know and trust each other around a table laden with food and drink. If possible, invite an outsider and welcome the stranger into the discussion, hoping that they will carry it to their own homes, their own circles.

Here are a few questions to start you thinking: What is my personal hearth or hearths—for there can be more than one? And what is my centering place—the place (not necessarily a physical place) of solace, inspiration, and identity? How do my hearths compare with those of my friends? Or with people from other cultures who may have other kinds of hearths?

Listen and learn, for there can be no single definition of hearth. Each is as distinct as the individual who claims it. And that’s the point of this book—the starting point for the thirty-three writers who contributed their words to this discussion—and for readers like you. We hope our book may serve as a virtual hearth where questions are asked that have no answers, but where the talk goes on and on, connecting us in peace and trust, engendering empathy instead of enmity and fear.

Your Hearth Showcase

“Thought-provoking, meditative, mournful, and comforting for readers
who seek a connection to purpose and meaning, the anthology acts as a hearth of its own.”

Publishers Weekly