Winner of the 2020 Society of Classical Poets Competition and the only American to have won the Scottish International Open Poetry Competition (see Times Literary Supplement, London, Jan. 27, 2017), MacKenzie has studied the history of the sonnet in five languages, including Scots. With his M.A. in French Studies and a minor in Italian, MacKenzie's philological approach to English gives his verses a timeless quality readers love.
James Sale, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts has referred to MacKenzie's "Sonnets for Christ the King" as "major poetry by a major poet," while Bishop Ramolla has called McKenzie "the great lyric poet of our times."
In addition to sacred verse, the poet has also taken up historical themes of current interest. His "Letter to England" inspired an article in The Spectator magazine (UK). While his verses have appeared in popular dailies such as Edinburgh's The Scotsman and London's The Independent, the poet has since announced a strong commitment to the British Monarchy through a series of poems celebrating the Royal Family with video versions posted on social media.
MacKenzie did his theology in France, Switzerland, Italy, and then back in the United States. Having received the Minor Orders (Porter, Lector, Acolyte, and Exorcist), he left the clerical state and subsequently met and married the beautiful "Lady of the Sonnets" who inspires his popular love poetry today.
"The divine purpose of poetry is the glory of God and conversion of souls." —Joseph Charles MacKenzie