Trouble Funk

The speaker of Testify returns to divulge his parents’ love story. Set in Anderson, Indiana in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s, Trouble Funk exposes ways Black Love is thwarted but never destroyed by racism, classism, and sexism. Eschewing the “lyrical I” in favor of a third person omniscient point of view, this text exhibits how the latter half of the twentieth century rhymes with our current moment when it comes to political division, the hardships that Black folks face, and the rise of toxic right-wing policies. In many ways, Trouble Funk serves as a prequel to Testify in which Douglas Manuel seeks to better understand and love himself, his family, and his country.


In these stunning poems of love and longing, Douglas Manuel offers us richly textured lyrics inspired by three decades of Black music, refreshing nostalgic beats. This book is a playlist for Black joy and perseverance, each line smooth as Soul Train and studded with sonic delights. I will carry these playful, resonant poems with me—”lift and flit, lift and flit”—catching their sweet signal, like late-night radio in the wee hours.
—Kiki Petrosino, author of White Blood: a Lyric of Virginia

Half of the cover is blue and the other half is black. The blue half has the title Trouble Funk and the black half has the author name, Douglas Manuel

Douglas Manuel ( Author Website )

Publication Date: April 25, 2023

Genre/Imprint: Poetry, Red Hen Press

$22.00 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 9781636280684

Download the Press Kit Here


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LitHub features Douglas Manuel, author of TROUBLE FUNK!

By Diana Arterian The poet Douglas Manuel’s debut poetry collection Testify follows the topic so many of us (this poet included) attend to first: family. Testify attended to the stark realities of Manuel’s childhood […]