Songs from the Back-in-the-Back
by Marcia B. Loughran
Scheduled Release Date: Oct 15, 2021
If you grew up in America in the seventies, you grew up in the back of the car, squabbling with your siblings, fighting for the best seat, singing car songs. The littlest kids were thrown in the back-in-the-back, a private cockpit with a view of where you’ve been. Now we have iPhones and TVs in the car, but back then you had to entertain yourself: staring out the window, torturing your parents with endless knock-knock jokes, the occasional screaming contest. It wasn’t pretty but it was fun, at least in this poet-passenger’s rearview memory.
This collection begins with poems inspired by her father, the family driver/chief storyteller. They capture aspects of the father-daughter relationship as well as the role reversal that takes place as child becomes adult and parent becomes “old.” The second half of the chapbook takes to the open road: memories of family trips, a scrapbook of stories from a storytelling family. Unapologetically narrative in form, these poems pay homage to grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and the ancestors. The chapbook concludes with three mini-essays (messays) about car rides, family, and the possibilities of discovery when you’re trapped next to a window with an ever-changing view.
With her generous and accessible words and images, she touches those places in me that spark both memory and imagination. Songs from the Back-in-the Back is a gorgeous collection of Marcia’s best family tidbits.
—Franny Forsman, Las Vegas lawyer and author
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