My Brief Thoughts on Brian McGackin, Broetry

Author: Brian McGackin
Publisher: Quirk Books
Date: 2011
Genre: Poetry, Humor

121 pages.
Where I got it: The publisher
Challenges: None

So, I'm not really a bro, and thus I may not be the target audience for Broetry, but I did think it was pretty funny.  It was a little rough for me in the beginning, but then I started to get into the spirit of the broems.  I particularly enjoyed "College + Love- Love=College," which is a clever series of linguistic equations, kind of like little riddles.  "Impact" is kind of a Frostian ode to football season and "Ode to Taylor Swift" is just what it sounds like, and is pretty charming and funny. Towards the end of the book, some of the poems seemed more weighty, less strictly comic, and actually kind of honest about being young in our culture.

Brian McGackin obviously knows his poetry (with the Master's Degree to prove it).  He uses the conventions, the forms, and accomplishes adept imitations of many famous poets before him, whether it is their style, their form, or their tone that he borrows. The cover of his book is "an homage" to William Carlos Williams, "This is Just to Say," a poem I happen to love to teach, and which has been oft rewritten, but never quite in this way.   It is the content, the subject matter, that is different in this little book of "poems for people who don't like poetry."  I don't entirely get "broetry," although I did enjoy reading it as I got deeper into the collection.  But then again,  I already like poetry, and I do think that this little book could maybe make some converts.

Here is a "broem," for your viewing pleasure:

And HERE is an interview with McGackin on NPR.


  1. I wouldn't go out of my way to read this, but the video cracked me up a little. If I ever stumble over Broetry in the library, I bet I end up sitting there reading it one go, halfway because it seems ridiculous and fun and halfway because I wouldn't want to carry it home.

    -- Ellen

  2. @fatbooks: Yeah, I can feel that. I definitely thought it was funny. Towards the end I started to be impressed by McGackin's clear knowledge of poetic form.

  3. I'm probably not the target audience for this collection either, but I like it, too.


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