American Happiness is an eclectic collection of verse from a bold poet of everyday life, Jacqueline Allen Trimble. Ironically titled, the work addresses everything from the death of parents to racial tension to the encroachment of coyotes into urban spaces.
The title is taken from a poem in the book which considers the kinder, gentler exploits of Sheriff Andy and Deputy Barney during a time when Southern law enforcement was neither universally kind or gentle. Says Trimble, “Barney had one bullet/and no need for a rope./The only burning he did was for his Thelma Lou.”
On her poetic journey, which takes us from the personal to the political, Trimble probes our racial divide. She is by turns compassionate and fierce, cutting at our hypocrisy with the knife of her words and willing us toward our better common humanity.