Happiness is the long-anticipated debut collection from the award-winning Jack Underwood. With the sort of smart, persuasive voice associated with Simon Armitage and Michael Donaghy, these poems worry at the world in search of consolation, or else meet life's absurdity and strangeness half-way; whether sitting proudly atop an unexploded bomb, or injecting blood under the skin of a banana, playfulness and imagination are vehicles for confronting 'the fearful and forgotten things I've lied to myself about'. Here are poems which address anxiety about fatherhood, remorse for lost lovers and friends, or mourn for a miscarried sibling.
Happiness is a collection preoccupied with the ephemerality of happiness itself, at the ever-present possibility of its departure, and the ways we try to grasp and keep hold of it. 'Every single thought I'm having is about LOVE', here meaning both the pleasure and panic of love, its peculiarity; love as a feeling of risk, love for one's own body, familiar yet estranged, of 'cack-handed LOVE at his console', love like 'pausing to move a snail somewhere safer in the rain'.