In "Slow Joy," Stefanie Marlis's first full length collection, the poems move across boundaries, across worlds, difficulties, and happinesses. The book's persona and concerns--consciousness, suffering, and destruction, love, and death--are not unusual. What is, is that the collection as a whole breaks through pain and sorrowful histories and is finally uplifting, even redemptive, in the sense that prayers are redemptive. And the poems in their serious strength urge the reader to draw a parallel between poetry and the silent prayers monks believe redeem the world. Marlis writes poems that are potentially redemptive, at least for the poet. The poems in "Slow Joy" are wrought with animate imagery, with story, and with long running lines sprung with falling and rising sounds. Marlis's poetry translates pain slowly into joy, or as the poet has written, "makes the bearable a gate."