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. British readers began referring to MacKenzie as "The Bard of Brexit" after the release of his "Letter to Parliament," a minor political treatise composed in traditional closed couplets, while his famous "Letter to England" inspired an article in The Spectator magazine (UK). His verses have appeared in some popular, national, dailies, including Edinburgh's The Scotsman and London's The Independent.
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