Happiness is the long-anticipated debut collection from Jack Underwood. These bright, beguiling poems worry at the world, surreally exploring the ‘resevoir of wrong headed questions’ with which love and death confront us. Life’s strangeness is met halfway in poems where a childhood horse and a recent lover flip through a photo album together; where ‘sadness is a yacht’; fear for a future child ‘a fizz building in a bad grey egg’; a beef steak is ‘a question hung in itself, about blood, and love is someone ‘pausing to move a snail somewhere safer in the rain’. In these unpredictable and inventive poems,
visualisation becomes an emphatic act, a means of sharing the ‘fearful and forgotten things’ we lie to ourselves about.
Happiness is a collection preoccupied with the ephemerality of happiness itself, with the ever present possibility of its departure, and the ways we try to grasp and keep hold of it. Self-aware and sad, daring and funny, this is an accomplished and memorable debut from a distinct new voice.
Jack Underwood was born in Norwich in 1984. He graduated from Norwich School of Art and Design in 2005 before completing an MA and PhD in Creative Writing. He co-edits the anthology series Stop Sharpening Your Knives and reviews for Poetry London and Poetry Review. He won an Eric Gregory Award in 2007.
Paperback, 54 pages
£10.99 (£9.50 during July 2015)
‘Happiness’ is available to buy in the shop, by phone (0115 8373097) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with free p&p for UK orders.
(Overseas orders welcome, please email for delivery estimate)
All major Credit Cards & Paypal accepted
Five Leaves Poetry Book of the Month is in association with Stanza poetry reading group. Every month we feature a poetry book chosen by Nottingham Stanza.