Browse By Author

Author List

Share This Title

Send this product to a friend

MUP Catalogs

Happy Neighborhood: Essays and Poems

By author: Thomas Hallock
Product Code: P681
ISBN: 9780881469097
Publisher: Mercer University Press
Availability: In stock
Price: $22.00

HAPPY NEIGHBORHOOD explores through poetry and prose the cultivation of contented place. How must men in particular sift through the rewards, and belabored grudges, of their own childhoods in order to move productively forward? These thoughtful, carefully crafted meditations seek to define happiness at home. The poems begin with daily walks, often with a dog, to the waterfront park near the author's house in St. Petersburg, Florida. The essays, in dialog with the verse, explore the personal, literary, cultural, and historical questions that prompted the poems. Hallock's influences and reading are wide ranging, though he draws especially from seventeenth-century devotional traditions, in which the reflective writing serves to bring the soul to a proper space of rest. There is poetry about infidelity and marriage, fatherhood, insomnia, a front porch hammock, political corruption, holy communion, and homemade biscuits. Although seemingly content in title, HAPPY NEIGHBORHOOD candidly confronts the challenges the author has faced as a father, spouse, and son. Hallock grapples with finding peace in Florida, his adopted home state and not where he ever chose to live. In becoming a father, he must unpack painful emotions that he still carries, and not pass onto his own child. And as a writer, he wrestles with artistic self-indulgence and the need for poetry that can accomplish honest emotional work.
Bookmark and Share


Review by: Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS - June 23, 2023
"With admirable honesty and empathy, Thomas Hallock's essays and poems guide us on what is revealed as a necessary search for contentment--its languages, philosophies, and made kinships. And we travel with him on a sometimes-rocky path, but one that is always loving, always tender."
Review by: Gloria Muñoz, Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg, Florida, and author of DANZIRLY - May 24, 2023
"Powerful, moving, and full of the messy good stuff that makes us human, these poems urge us to sing our truest songs. Art, like history, sometimes requires us to look back in order to move forward. Blending the social, the personal, and the poetic, Hallock examines the very roots of fatherhood and family with conviction, good humor, and love. This book is one that readers will return to when they need a compass to find their way back to their neighborhood."

Goodreads reviews