The Cover of Backup Singers

Backup Singers

Sommer Browning

With BACKUP SINGERS Browning follows up her sold out debut, Either Way I'm Celebrating, with an even rawer and starker, and again darkly humorous navigation of friendship, marriage, and motherhood. The result is a more overtly political assessment of the absurd deficit between what we're confronted with and what we're equipped with to deal with those confrontations: "It's a girl, / and the wires she needs // open her hands / before they're fists."

Browning combats this deficit with relentless anaphora and repetition, reducing seemingly impossible relationships to their most basic element--a love that begets an unconditional loyalty: "I'm here! I didn't run!"

What People Are Saying

​Rob McLennan

There is an enormous amount of joy that comes with the announcement of a new work by Denver, Colorado poet and illustrator Sommer Browning, and the recent AWP in Seattle saw the release of Browning's second trade poetry collection, Backup Singers (Birds, LLC, 2014). Given the amount of her quirky and hilarious comics were utilized as part of her first poetry collection, Either Way I'm Celebrating (Birds, LLC, 2011) [see my review of such here], I must say that a book by Sommer Browning without comics is unexpected (and even slightly disappointing). Still, there aren't many contemporary poets with her penchant for tight lines and terrible jokes (Montreal poet David McGimpsey is a rare exception), and the results are absolutely stunning.

Inside the Book

Category:
Poetry
Binding:
Perfect Bound 88 pp
Dimensions
6" x 9"
Publication Date:
June 2014
ISBN:
9780991429806

Watch the Trailer

Reviews

​Rob McLennan

Rob McLennan

From the Book

Safe Bets

	  			

This poem is called Safe Bets.

Safe Bet.

Sorry let me start over.

This poem is called Safe Bets.

Safe Bet.

Sorry I can't believe that, let me start over.

This poem is called Safe Bets.

Safe Bet.

Shit, sorry. Again.

This poem is called Safe Bets.

Safe Bets.

It is a safe bet that Slavoj Zizek is eating a donut.

from Friend

	  			

Isn't it wasn't it isn't it so

strange to invite anyone
into our lives? Isn't it wasn't it

isn't it so strange to love
the same people? Isn't it
wasn't it isn't it so strange
to be a girl when you are
a boy? Roth Rose. Cindy.
Lawn Bite. Andy. Melissa
and her astounding name

Wickramasekera that taught
me Ceylon,Tamils,Veddas,
we were the age she was
when she bore the daughter
she named the same name
as she, Melissa. The daughter's

name the same but more

gorgeous for this reason.
To be in the presence of this
act, this love, the same name!

How defiant because so

patriarchal. Isn't it wasn't it
isn't it mitosis? Isn't it
wasn't it isn't it sharing
the fear of death and so
easing it? Isn't it wasn't it
isn't it none of this but

something solitary, some-
thing stark, something like

solemnity and vice—the moon

and our pants around our ankles.

© 2014 Birds, LLC.