Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review: Broetry

Brian McGackin

Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone

Release Date: July 2011

Publisher: Quirk Books

Pages: 128 (hardcover)

Author Site:

My Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Received for review from publisher

As contemporary poets deliver entire volumes on subjects like incest, menstruation, and pine cones, regular guys are left scratching their heads. Who will speak for Everyman? Who will articulate his love for Xbox 360, for Mama Celeste’s Frozen Pizza, for any movie starring Bruce Willis?

Enter Broetry—a stunning debut from a dazzling new literary voice. “Broet Laureate” Brian McGackin goes where no poet has gone before—to Star Wars conventions, to frat parties, to video game tournaments, and beyond. With poems like “Ode to That Girl I Dated for, Like, Two Months Sophomore Year” and “My Friends Who Don’t Have Student Loans,” we follow the Bro from his high school graduation and college experience through a “quarter-life crisis” and beyond. Packaged in a small gifty hardcover and illustrated with tasteful black and white illustrations, Broetry is a funny and sly look at modern masculinity.


I admit I can't quite remember the poetry lessons I had in school...and I'm definitely not a connoisseur in poetry (or literature, or writing, or anything actually...). I don't remember all the different type of poems or the technicalities of creative writing so take what you will from my review. Broetry is basically for the men in the world who don't like poetry... being a female who sometimes enjoyed (when I could understand it), if not always appreciated, poetry didn't deter me from enjoying the collection. From a person who enjoys all forms of humor, be it crude and vulgar to cute and corny, I found Broetry to be full of funny moments ranging from laugh-out-loud to indiscreet smiles. I even recognized some of the poetic forms McGackin used and found them clever and interesting. And I may not be able to relate to everything in the poems I still found them funny as hell!

As I was reading through the short collection of poems I found myself marking pages of my favorites and wanting to share them with everyone. Some of them include:
  •  Not Another Teen Movie - composed of movie titles that are arrayed in a pretty clever relationship timeline
  • I'll Take "Crazy Bitches" for $200, Alex - a play on Jeopardy and ex-girlfriends
  • Whorecrux - a very clever usage of a Harry Potter term in reference to 7 "important" ex-girlfriends
  • Pocahotness - about crushing on animated characters
  • Yes, I Cheated on You - Being a woman I wasn't offended by this poem because I was that girl in some of my relationships...It was interesting to see a guy's perspective on the uneasy subject abou fidelity. This one is also an example of a specific type of poem, I just don't know which kind lol
  • (American) Ninja Warrior - I'm having a hard time really explaining what this one was could be a dual personality thing going on or different point of views arguing...its funny though!
The poems were also broken up into parts, or time periods, of a person (or man's) life. It started with high school, through college graduation, to "real life" with a "quarter-life" crisis thrown in for fun! The subject of the poems varied, sometimes wildly, and I just had a blast reading them all. Broetry is a keeper in my opinion. It may not be the best collection of poems but its a book that I know will bring a smile to my face when I need it. It's clever, funny, cute, and just plain fun! And yes, it can be educational because it does show some of different examples of poetic writing. I also think it will accomplish its goal and hit home with its target audience: the men in the world who could care less about the poetry they had to read in school...this may be the book to get them =)


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